Star takes Burton W. Marvin Award

April 24, 2017

LAWRENCE — Journalists from The Kansas City Star are recipients of the Burton W. Marvin Kansas News Enterprise Award from the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

Each year during William Allen White Day events, the William Allen White Foundation presents the award to journalists at a newspaper circulated in Kansas who have demonstrated enterprise in developing and writing a significant news story. Winners this year are Mike Hendricks and Matt Campbell of The Star for their series "Fatal Echoes."

In the series published last year, Hendricks and Campbell showed how failure to follow widely circulated safety regulations led to the deaths of hundreds of firefighters and injuries to thousands of others. Fire officials and safety regulators said that change had been hampered by lack of training requirements, lax oversight, resource-starved budgets and a hero culture among firefighters that pushes them to ignore their own safety. Hendricks and Campbell analyzed hundreds of federal and state reports, inspection records and meeting transcripts, and interviewed officials, safety experts, firefighters and families as they pieced together stories of tragedies that officials say could have been avoided if departments had followed procedures that fire departments knew about but failed to implement.

The award, to be presented at a private event April 21, is named in honor of Burton W. Marvin, former dean of the journalism school and the first director of the William Allen White Foundation.

On April 20, William Allen White Day events will include honoring journalist Charlie Rose with the William Allen White Foundation National Citation Award. Rose will not be able to attend the ceremony but will receive the award in absentia. Special guest at the program will be journalist and television commentator Bob Schieffer, who will participate in a Q&A discussion with journalism school student Jackson Kurtz. PBS journalist Judy Woodruff also will attend and give a tribute to her friend and co-worker Gwen Ifill, who received the National Citation last year and died Nov. 14, 2016.

The William Allen White Day program will immediately precede the school’s scholarships and awards ceremony, in which the school will award nearly $500,000 to journalism school students. The public is invited to the events starting at 3 p.m. April 20 in Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union.