Post and Courier wins Silver Gavel Award for domestic violence series

The Post and Courier has been named the winner of the American Bar Association’s 2015 Silver Gavel Award for Newspapers for its five-part series that explored South Carolina’s deadly toll from domestic violence.

“Till Death Do Us Part,” written by Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes and Natalie Caula Hauff, revealed that more than 300 women were killed by husbands or boyfriends in a decade, while the state’s leaders did little to stem the violence. The series has prompted efforts to reform South Carolina’s domestic violence laws, among other things.

The American Bar Association has presented Silver Gavel Awards since 1958 to recognize outstanding work in media and the arts that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system.

The Post and Courier team began work on the series in September 2013 when the Violence Policy Center in Washington ranked South Carolina No. 1 in the nation in the rate of women killed by men. Staff from the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting consulted on and helped edit the series. CIR also provided database training, funding for data research and print graphics.

The series has previously been awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, a George Polk Award for state reporting, a Dart Award for excellence in coverage of trauma, a National Headliner Award, The American Society of News Editors’ 2015 Local Accountability Reporting Award, the 2015 John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for “Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting,” and a first-place award for investigative journalism in the 2014 EPPY Awards sponsored by Editor and Publisher.