A powerful series exposing a coal industry conspiracy that schemed to deny even meager benefits to miners suffering black lung disease has won the prestigious Heywood Broun Award, presented annually by The Newspaper Guild-CWA. The award for “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung Disease, Buried by Law and Medicine,” which includes a $5,000 check, is shared by journalists from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and ABC News. A pair of Sacramento Bee reporters and a trio of journalists at the Washington Post were chosen as Broun Substantial Distinction winners. Each team of winners will receive $1,000. “We believe our winner truly reflects the Guild founder’s commitment to championing the underdog against the powerful, the uncaring, the corrupt,” the judges said, stressing how impressed they were overall by the quality of entries."It was inspiring to review so many examples of journalistic excellence in service to – in Broun’s words – 'the ordinary run of people.'" The awards will be presented in October. Photo: From left, judges Jim Steele, Lena Williams, Betsy Wade and panel chair Jeff Miller.