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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   April 2000  issue

Make That a Double   

Due to an expensive communications problem, the judges for the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting pick two winners rather than one. Doug Ring doles out $25,000 to each.

By AJR Staff

Doug Ring doles out $25,000 more than he had expected to after this year's Selden Ring Award . Named after his late father, a Southern California business leader, the annual award honors great investigative reporting with 25 grand. But when this year's judges picked two winners-- the Washington Post 's Katherine Boo for stories on the treatment of D.C.'s mentally retarded and a Philadelphia Inquirer team for the city police department's underreporting of women's claims of rape--Ring didn't want to split the prize. So he gave each winner the full amount. Ring says there's just supposed to be one victor. "The problem was a breakdown in communications, and it won't happen again," he says. "But there was no reason why the winners should have been penalized because of our internal communication." Incredibly generous of him. "Or dumb, one of the two," he adds. "Never discount the obvious."