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Boston Globe wins The Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for fish mislabeling series

Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File 2011

The Boston Globe has won The Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for a 2011 series on the mislabeling of fish at area restaurants and supermarkets.

The award, which comes with $5,000 in prize money, recognizes groundbreaking journalism that creatively uses digital tools. The Globe’s “Fishy Business” series was a five-month investigation that found that Massachusetts consumers routinely and unknowingly paid for less desirable fish, some of which can cause illness. The series involved DNA testing of samples collected from 134 restaurants, grocery stores, and seafood markets. Forty-eight percent of 183 samples turned out to be a different species than what was advertised.

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The results were put into an interactive database online that employed responsive design, a technology that automatically adjusts the layout and presentation to fit any device being used from a desktop to a smartphone.

Gannett, one of the country’s biggest media companies, announced the award Friday night in Las Vegas at the annual gathering of the Asian American Journalists Association.

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