The annual IRE Awards have recognized outstanding investigative reporting since 1979. Investigative Reporters & Editors is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting since its inception in 1975.
Deadly Decisions is a "classic David-meets-Goliath triumph," IRE judges wrote. "The small staff at this weekly newspaper in Oregon won a public records battle with the state agency that sued the newspaper to block release of documents. The newspaper launched a GoFundMe drive to raise money for a lawyer to defend the journalist. In the end, the documents were released after the governor stepped in. The paper's tenacity led a public affirmation of the state's commitment to openness. This work is proof that you don’t need a large staff and deep resources to move the needle on open records."
Deadly Decisions was also the runner-up for a Scripps Howard Award in the Distinguished Service to the First Amendment category.