SEATTLE — The Oregonian/OregonLive is the winner of the 2017 Ted Natt First Amendment Award for its commitment to fighting for access to public records and the principles of open government.
The award to reporter Rob Davis for his series “Toxic Armories ” was presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association. It is named for the former publisher of The Daily News of Longview, Wash., who died in a helicopter crash in 1999. The competition was open to newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana that are members of The Associated Press.
Davis’s 18-month investigation found that the National Guard’s neglect allowed toxic dust to spread at its gun ranges, endangering soldiers and visitors to America’s armories. In a sweeping order announced the series ran, the National Guard closed every one of its toxic armories in the United States to community groups. Guard leaders pledged federal money to pay for the cleanups.