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Bell coverage wins IRE Medal

April 8, 2011 |  2:08 pm

Editor Russ Stanton sent the following award announcement to the newsroom:

Team Bell keeps raking in the honors.

This time, it’s another biggie: the IRE Medal.

Here’s what the judges at Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. had to say in giving the organization’s top honor to Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives and a posse of Times colleagues:

“At a time when many news organizations are pulling back and reducing coverage of outlying cities, the Los Angeles Times uncovered a story of incredible greed in one of the state’s poorest towns….The impact of the series has been far-flung, including resignations, arrests and the refund of $2.9 million in overpaid taxes and fees.”

Along with Jeff and Ruben, who got the ball rolling on Bell, the judges recognized Kim Christensen, Hector Becerra, Corina Knoll, Robert J. Lopez, Paloma Esquivel, Paul Pringle, Jessica Garrison, Richard Winton, Scott Gold, Kim Murphy, Shelby Grad, Steve Marble, Kimi Yoshino, Megan Garvey and Maloy Moore.

Another signature Times project, “Grading the Teachers,” was one of four finalists for the IRE Medal. The judges recognized Jason Felch and Jason Song, along with Doug Smith, Sandra Poindexter, Ken Schwencke, Julie Marquis, Beth Shuster, Stephanie Ferrell and Thomas Lauder.

The Bell coverage previously won a George Polk Award for local reporting, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting and the Los Angeles Press Club’s first-ever Public Service Award.

Congratulations to all.