Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun reporter Alexandra Berzon’s body of work on construction deaths in Las Vegas was one of the three finest examples of “local accountability reporting” in the United States last year, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Berzon was one of three finalists for the award, which ultimately went to a team of five reporters from the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. The other finalist for the award was a team of five reporters from the Chicago Tribune.
Berzon wrote 53 stories last year on flaws in safety procedures and government oversight that contributed to 12 deaths on the Strip over 18 months. Her stories prompted a walkout by workers in June that forced safety improvements.
Not one worker has died on the Strip since those improvements were made.
The Charlotte Observer’s stories revealed how officials in the poultry industry ignored and threatened injured workers. The awards are being announced today in Reston, Va.