A New Times special report examining the lives of the people employed by maquiladora factories along the border in Mexico has won two prestigious national awards.
"Bordering on Exploitation," by John Dougherty and David Holthouse, was published in July 1998.
The report won first place in the Special Section or Series competition in the 1999 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, which are sponsored by the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. This year's contest drew more than 1,700 entries.
Finalists in the Special Section or Series category included the Oregonian, the Miami Herald and the Washington Post.
Of New Times' report, the judges wrote, "This is a powerful piece of investigative journalism that not only explores the economic causes and consequences of the maquiladora boom along the Mexico-U.S. border but takes a sensitive look into the lives of the Mexican workers lured to Nogales in search of a better future. The reporting is detailed, the analysis clear and the writing compelling. The writers manage the difficult balancing act between exposing the evils of exploitation and demonstrating that, for many of the workers, life on the border really is better than it was in the interior of Mexico. This piece marries narrative writing techniques to investigative reporting skills. The result is both a good read and a quick education."
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The judges added that the entries shared "depth of their reporting and the clarity and eloquence of their writing. Lifestyle writers and editors in search of models would do well to study the winner and finalists."
"Bordering on Exploitation" also won first in Economic Reporting from the Unity Awards in Media, sponsored by Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Missouri.
The report also won first place in the Project Reporting category of the Arizona Press Club competition. It can be found online at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/issues/1998-07-09/.
Dougherty, 43, is a three-time Arizona Journalist of the Year. Holthouse, 27, is also a highly decorated journalist who recently became a New Times columnist.