Former Daily editor receives award nomination for Innocence Project coverage

    The Mirror Awards nominated Brian Rosenthal (Medill '11), former editor-in-chief of The Daily Northwestern, on Tuesday for a series of stories he wrote on unethical reporting in the Medill Innocence Project.

    Established by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the Mirror Awards nominate journalists whose work criticizes or comments on today’s media.

    Rosenthal’s critical look at the Medill Innocence Project earned him a nomination for the John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting. The Daily was the only student publication to be nominated for an award.

    “It's an honor,” Rosenthal said. “Unexpected, but definitely a big honor.”

    The Mirror Awards ceremony, emceed by Anderson Cooper, will be held in New York City in June. Rosenthal said he isn’t sure yet if he’ll have time to attend.

    Rosenthal, now an education beat reporter for the Seattle Times, wrote two articles chronicling the Medill Innocence Project’s history, present and future while he attended Northwestern. The stories ran in May 2011, after concerns arose regarding ethical liberties taken by students, allegedly at the behest of the Medill professor in charge, David Protess.

    During Rosenthal's tenure as editor-in-chief, The Daily broke stories on both the three-unrelated law and the John Michael Bailey controversy, raising disputes still unresolved in the Northwestern community.

    Rosenthal credited his fellow Daily staffers, especially former Editor-in-Chief and current In Focus Editor Katherine Driessen, for helping him with his Innocence Project series.

    “It was really a team effort for The Daily, so I just think it's really good for them, good for the publication,” Rosenthal said. “It speaks to, as we said all the time at The Daily, we're doing work that's just as important as what the professionals are doing.”

    An earlier version of this story ran with a headline that stated Rosenthal won the award. He was nominated. North by Northwestern regrets the error.


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