Alex Quade wins American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award for second year in a row

War correspondent, Alex Quade, won the American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award in the new media category for her video report “Chinook Down” for the New York Times website.

Her documentary revealed the full story and human toll behind a WikiLeaks headline of a Chinook helicopter shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Afghanistan, killing all on board.

Quade was supposed to be on that helicopter. Instead, she reported firsthand on the firefight and recovery. For five years she gathered material on the attack by interviewing pilots who provided air support to rescue teams on the ground, obtaining previously unreleased Pentagon documents via Freedom of Information Act appeals and video. The result of Quade’s investigation was a 10-minute video for the Times that brought closure to the families. One soldier who had long suffered from PTSD told her, “You helped me come home from the war.”

This is Quade’s second Fourth Estate Award, the first was awarded last year. This is the first time since 1958 the Legion has given the award to the same person, two consecutive years in a row.