Blade's Roe wins national honor for beryllium reports


Blade investigative reporter Sam Roe has won a top award from the National Press Club for his articles about the hazards of the metal beryllium.

Mr. Roe won the Robert L. Kozik Award for excellence in environmental reporting by a newspaper in 1999. The award and a $500 check will be presented at a dinner next month at the National Press Club in Washington.

The award marks the third time in five years that the National Press Club has honored Mr. Roe for his investigations.

His six-part series on beryllium, titled "Deadly Alliance" and published in March and April, 1999, exposed how government and industry officials repeatedly put production of the strategic metal ahead of worker safety.

The series sparked major safety reforms, numerous lawsuits, and two congressional investigations, and was instrumental in legislation to compensate injured workers.

The series has previously won several other national journalism awards, including the White House Correspondents' Association Poe Award, the Scripps Howard Meeman Award, and an Investigative Reporters and Editors medal. It was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize, and a Loeb Award for business journalism from UCLA.

The National Press Club, a professional and social organization, announced winners in 11 categories, including foreign correspondence, consumer journalism, and press criticism.

Mr. Roe, 40, is a Toledo native and a 1978 graduate of Whitmer High School. He has been with The Blade since 1986.