The George Polk Awards are given annually to some of the most respected names in journalism for special achievement. The national award recognizes investigative and enterprise work that is original, requires digging and resourcefulness, and brings results.
Previous recipients have included Edward R. Murrow, Carl Bernstein, David Halberstam, I.F. Stone, Gay Talese and Walter Cronkite. The awards were established by Long Island University in 1949 to commemorate Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered the year before while covering the Greek Civil War.
Maine native Colin Woodard is the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram's State and National Affairs Writer, concentrating on investigative projects and magazine-style features. He has reported from more than fifty countries and six continents as a foreign correspondent. He is the author of four books including the award-winning American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America and The Republic of Pirates, which is the basis of the forthcoming NBC drama "Crossbones". His work has appeared in dozens of major publications, including The Economist, Smithsonian, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg View.
Read more of Colin's reporting on virtual schools: