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El Paso Matters founder among recipients of Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award

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El Paso journalist Robert Moore is among a group of investigative reporters who received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award on Thursday for a series of stories on the U.S. Border Patrol.

Moore, the founder of El Paso Matters and former editor of the El Paso Times, was part of a team at ProPublica, an investigative news organization, that exposed a number of failures by the Border Patrol in 2019.

Robert Moore is founder and CEO of El Paso Matters

Another member of the ProPublica reporting team, Ginger Thompson, is a graduate of Eastwood High School.

“Journalists from ProPublica take a close look at the culture inside the Border Patrol to paint a deeply troubling picture of cruelty and loss,” New Yorker editor David Remnick said in announcing the award.

Moore was the lead reporter on a story that showed Border Patrol agents and medical workers ignored the deteriorating health of 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vasquez in the hours before the Guatemalan migrant died on the floor of a cell in Weslaco, Texas.

Other ProPublica stories in 2019 exposed the existence of a secret Facebook group for Border Patrol agents that featured jokes about migrant deaths and sexist memes; and provided an inside look at the detention of migrant children.

The Kennedy journalism awards “honor outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy’s concerns, including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world.” The nonprofit presenting the awards, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, was created by friends and family of the former attorney general, U.S. senator and presidential candidate after his assassination in 1968.

The awards are given in 13 categories for print, digital and broadcast news providers. ProPublica was recognized in the new media category. Other winners announced Thursday included the New York Times, Washington Post and the Associated Press.

Moore has written about border issues for several publications in recent years. In May, he was part of a Washington Post team that was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for coverage of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

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