USC Selden Ring Award Honors ProPublica

Another sign that the journalism awards this year are honoring the unusual is the announcement from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that it has bestowed its coveted Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting to ProPublica.

A release posted on the program's Web site declares that T. Christian Miller's reporting on “the hidden war” affecting contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: “untangled the bureaucracies of the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor to uncover for the first time how many contractors have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - 1,757, as of Friday. Another 37,000 have been injured.”

It also added: “Beyond the casualties, Miller revealed that contractors were not receiving even minimal benefits owed to them when they are injured in war zones. He also found that many of those suffering are working-class Americans who saw the contract work as a way to dig themselves out of debt and take care of their families. Thousands of them are from third world countries who are hired to do the work of cleaning toilets and mopping floors for the American military.”

Do not be surprised if Miller or ProPublica are among those receiving Pulitzer Prizes later today.