"SoCal Connected" has won the prestigious Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for "Courting Disaster," its exclusive investigation into the L.A. County Dependency Court.
Producer Karen Foshay, reporter Jennifer London, and editor Michael Bloecher received the high honor for Short Form Video for their in-depth coverage of looming budget cuts to the L.A. County court system and how they might further affect the already overburdened dependency court, the largest in the nation, serving more than 25,000 children a year. This marked the first time cameras were allowed into the courts, demonstrating how staggering backlogs overwhelm judges, lawyers, and caseworkers, sometimes to the detriment of the families they are meant to protect and keep intact.
The Casey Medals are given by the University of Maryland's Journalism Center on Children and Families, and they recognize excellence in reporting on children and families in the United States. "SoCal Connected's" story "Is Anybody Listening," about the economic woes of Pomona high school students and also produced by Foshay, was runner-up for Short Form Video in 2010. You can see a full list of winners at the JCCF website.
Above, producer Karen Foshay and reporter Jennifer London discuss the origins of the story and some of the difficulties they faced in gaining exclusive access into this intimate setting.