Chris Osher, a reporter with The Denver Post, is the recipient of the ninth annual Hal Hovey-Peter Harkness Award, presented by GOVERNING for outstanding journalistic coverage of state and local government. Osher is being honored for his investigative series on state enterprise zones.
In November 2011, The Denver Post published a series of articles written by Osher that showed how a program meant to spark economic development in the state’s poorest regions had grown to cover more than 70 percent of the state and was costing more than $60 million annually. The articles revealed that because of poor oversight, companies were taking development credits even when they were laying off employees, and that $75 million in tax credits in 2010 resulted in the creation of a net 564 jobs, a cost of nearly $133,000 per job.
Thanks to Osher’s investigative articles, key state legislators announced in December they would push legislation aimed at overhauling the state’s enterprise zone program. (To read Chris Osher’s investigative series, visit: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19274608?source=pkg.)
The Hovey-Harkness award, which includes a $3,000 cash grant, is presented at GOVERNING’s annual Outlook in the States and Localities conference in Washington, D.C. It is named in memory of the late Hal Hovey, a dedicated public official, scholar and reporter, who died in 1999, and for Peter Harkness, the founding editor and publisher of GOVERNING, and a long-time journalist who has covered state and local government for more than three decades.
GOVERNING, now in its 25th year, is an independent national magazine devoted to coverage of state and local government. GOVERNING is published by e.Republic, the nation’s leading publishing, research, event and new media company focused on the state and local government and education markets.