Georgia State University Journalism Project Wins Investigative Reporting Award

Georgia News Lab students

Georgia News Lab students at WSB-TV. Georgia State senior Ciara Frisbie is second from left, with News Lab Director David Armstrong fifth from left.

SAVANNAH, Ga.—The Georgia News Lab, based at Georgia State University, has been named the inaugural winner of the Larry Peterson Memorial Award for student investigative reporting by the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The award recognizes five News Lab students, including Georgia State senior Ciara Frisbie, for their reporting on the questionable uses of expense allowances granted to county commissioners in metro Atlanta.

The News Lab will be recognized at the Larry Peterson Award Workshop and Luncheon in the Savannah Morning News auditorium on Nov. 14. The award is co-sponsored by the Morning News.

The News Lab students collaborated on an investigative article exposing a lack of accountability and oversight of expense allowances provided to county commissioners in Clayton, Cobb and DeKalb counties. The article, “Expense allowances for commissioners come with no strings attached,” was published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in June.

Ciara Frisbie

Ciara Frisbie is a broadcast journalism major at Georgia State.

“The article is one of several on which News Lab students have done outstanding work,” said News Lab Director David Armstrong. “This award validates the News Lab concept that well-trained, highly motivated students can do high-level investigative reporting.”

The News Lab is a collaboration among Georgia’s leading universities, along with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV.

In addition to Frisbie, the News Lab students recognized for the award are Taylor Carpenter (University of Georgia), Stephen Fowler (Emory University), Jane Hammond (Mercer University) and Jared Loggins (Morehouse College). Clark Atlanta University is also a partner in the News Lab.

The Larry Peterson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism recognizes exceptional investigative journalism from professional and student journalists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

The award is named for Savannah Morning News investigative journalist and political reporter Larry Peterson, who died in 2014.