USA TODAY Staff 2:03 p.m. EDT September 5, 2013
A group of prestigious national scientific organizations has named USA TODAY’s “Ghost Factories” investigation as one of the best examples of science reporting during 2012.
The “Ghost Factories” project, which revealed the lingering health threats posed by hundreds of former lead smelter sites, was produced by reporters Alison Young and Peter Eisler, and a newsroom-wide team of visual, database and digital journalists. Reporters conducted detailed investigations of more than 460 potential sites of long-closed lead smelting operations that had been forgotten with the passage of time. Their work revealed systemic failures by government agencies to investigate the dangers posed by the old sites, despite being alerted to the potential issue more than a decade ago. >Read more
The multimedia investigative series, which includes a massive online interactive with details of the newspaper’s findings and several videos, can be viewed at ghostfactories.usatoday.com.