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Revelation of CIA Manuals Among Year’s Top Reporting

March 2, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mark Fineman of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Robert Parry of The Associated Press have won George Polk awards for foreign and national reporting, respectively, Long Island University announced Saturday.

Parry, who revealed the existence of CIA manuals counseling Nicaraguan rebels on the use of assassination, and Fineman, who covered recent upheavals in India, were among 17 reporters and photographers cited in 11 categories for journalistic achievement during 1984.

A career award also was made to broadcaster Walter ″Red″ Barber ″for his 55 years as the embodiment of literacy and honesty in sports journalism.″

A special award was made to Amnesty International for ″Amnesty International Report,″ its annual volume cataloguing violations of human rights around the world.

As the Inquirer’s Asian correspondent, Fineman covered the year’s three cataclysmic events in India - the Golden Temple battle, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the poison chemical leak that killed thousands of people in Bhopal. The announcement by the university, which sponors the prizes, called Fineman’s reporting ″replete with both insight and immediacy.″

The statement said that Parry’s exclusive reports on how the manual suggested that U.S.-backed guerrillas employ sabotage, violence and murder led President Reagan to order an investigation. CIA officials were disciplined and ″Congress found the agency’s Nicaraguan operation to be out of control,″ it said.

Other awards:

Local reporting - Ellen Whitford of The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., for stories that ″led to the closing of a Norfolk clinic for performing abortions on women who were not pregnant.″

Medical reporting - William R. Ritz and John Aloysius Farrell of The Denver Post for a series of stories on defective anesthesia machines, ″which stemmed from two deaths in Denver hospitals in 1983 (and) soon took on national implications when they discovered that the same equipment had been responsible for deaths in Michigan and Mississippi.″

Environmental reporting - Tom Harris and Jim Morris of The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, whose series, ″Uncle Sam’s Hidden Poisons,″ contained ″a portrait of federal military installations as the nation’s largest and least regulated environmental polluters.″

Special-interest reporting - Lois R. Ember of Chemical & Engineering News for ″Yellow Rain,″ an article detailing ″the shoddy scientific research behind U.S. allegations of Soviet germ warfare.″

Magazine reporting - John Vinocur of The New York Times for ″Republic of Fear: 30 Years of General Stroessner’s Paraguay,″ appearing in the Times’ Sunday magazine, ″a sensitive yet dispassionate (analysis) of just what the old general had wrought over three decades of tyranny and how decrepit a state his nation is in ... so downtrodden that it is probably not even ripe for revolution.″

News photography - Ozier Muhammad of Newsday ″for his compelling photo of a malnourished child undergoing his weekly weigh-in at the Korem relief camp in Ethiopia.″

Foreign television reporting - Michael Buerk of the British Broadcasting Co. and Mohammed Amin of VisNews for giving the world ″its first look at an Ethiopian relief camp.″ Buerk’s stories and Amin’s film, televised in the United States by NBC, ″touched off a shock wave of reaction that is still reverberating.″

National television reporting - Alex Kotlowitz, Kwame Holman and Susan Ades of the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, for ″Abortion Clinic Violence,″ a report broadcast in June on confrontational strategies espoused by the Pro-Life Action League and that ″anticipated by some months the true extent of such anti-abortion tactics.″

Local television reporting - Rick Nelson and Joe Collum of KPRC-TV, Houston, for ″Stolen Dreams,″ an investigative series on a home improvements scam by a construction company and financing firm ″in which poor homeowners were bilked of their life’s savings and lost their homes.″

The awards were established by Long Island University in 1949 to honor CBS correspondent George Polk, killed the year before while covering the Greek civil war.

A committee of faculty members and alumni chose the winners from among 500 recommended by news organizations, individual journalists and a panel of 133 former winners, news executives, writers and teachers.

Barber, 77, will speak at the awards presentation at the Hotel Roosevelt April 3.

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