Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation wins national, state and local awards in 2012

In the past year, Watchdog Nation has been helped by readers and their wonderful suggestions and tips for future investigations.

We are pleased to announce that some of our recent stories won national, state and local awards in 2012. Here’s a list.

Local: The Fort Worth Society of Professional Journalists, 1st place for First Amendment Awards for reporting on open government.

 State: The Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, honorable mention for community service.

 National: The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, 2nd place in general-interest columns for large metro newspapers.

 The judge in that contest, Tom Ferrick Jr., former metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, writes: “If I were a government official in Texas and picked up the phone to hear, ‘This is Dave Lieber,’ my heart would skip a beat. And not from joy. Lieber is a classic watchdog journalist, looking out for the little guy – and he gets results. While it’s admirable that he is an ombudsman, it’s his flair and skill as a writer that earn him this award.”

 Read the web version of some of the prize-winning Watchdog columns:

 160  constituents make a difference with bill on North Texas Tollway Authority

 Fort Worth Official resigns after boss finds backlog of open-records requests

 Investors in Bless 7 financial program start complaining

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 The Watchdog appears regularly in the Star-Telegram here.