Joshua Kors is an attorney and an investigative reporter covering military and veterans' issues.

He is the winner of the National Magazine Award, George Polk Award,
IRE Award, National Headliner Award, Casey Medal, Deadline Club Award, Mental Health Media Award, the National Press Club's Hume Award and the Military Reporters and Editors Award.  He was also a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award, Livingston Award, Tom Renner Award, John Bartlow Martin Award, Molly Ivins Prize, Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism, Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award.

His work is featured in the American Society of Magazine Editors' anthology "The Best American Magazine Writing 2008."

Kors earned national attention for his work uncovering the veterans' benefits scandal.  His three-part series showed how military doctors are purposely misdiagnosing soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, labeling them mentally ill in order to deny them medical care and disability pay.

He continued his reporting with ABC News, collaborating with Bob Woodruff on "World News Tonight" and "Nightline" pieces covering the scandal.  The "Nightline" report was part of a series on the struggles of wounded soldiers, which won the Peabody Award. 

In July 2007 Kors testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, which convened to investigate his reporting.  His testimony led to the creation of two new laws governing military discharges signed by President Bush in January and October 2008.

In September 2010 the House VA Committee convened again to examine Kors' reporting.  His testimony sparked a Pentagon investigation into the U.S. Army's torture of an American soldier.

Kors' reporting has been featured on CNN, PBS, BBC, KGO (ABC News, San Francisco), Washington Post Radio, and in print in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, Current Science, and Nieman Reports, Harvard's journalism quarterly.

From 2004 to 2005 Kors worked at Northern California's top-rated news station, KCBS - AM in San Francisco, while reporting on politics and education for Knight Ridder's Contra Costa Times. 

In 2003 he earned a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York.  In 2001 he graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College.

Before moving to New York, Kors worked as a reporter for The Spectrum, a Gannett-owned daily in St. George, Utah.  His front-page reports included an examination of the Utah National Guard and an interview with Senator Orrin Hatch regarding his controversial stand on stem-cell research.

In 2016 Kors earned a law degree from Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. He spoke about his military reporting at a TEDx Talk held in November 2015 at Vanderbilt University.




National Magazine Award      (2008)

Winner: Public Interest

The NMA recognizes reporting which sheds new light on an issue of public importance and has the ability to affect national debate.


George Polk Award      (2007)

Winner: Magazine Reporting

To listen to my acceptance speech, click here

New York radio station WLIU broadcasts the Polk Awards.  Winners are invited to sit down with station host Michael Mackey and discuss their reporting.  To hear my interview with Mackey, click here.

To celebrate the award, the Contra Costa Times—the Knight Ridder paper I used to report for—released this article.


Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award      (2007)

Winner: Magazine Reporting

Judges' comments:  "Some stories simply make your blood boil.  This examination of Army soldiers who were denied benefits for being discharged under phony personality disorder diagnoses poignantly illustrates the impact this military policy had on soldiers' lives and the difficulty Army officials had explaining the sharp rise in personality disorder cases.  The magazine's reporting showed that soldiers were not only denied benefits but also asked to repay their signing bonuses under an obscure discharge regulation.  Many left the Army with several thousand dollars of debt."

The IRE Award was presented in June at the 2008 IRE Convention in Miami.  Following the ceremony, I spoke on a panel about covering veterans' issues.  The panel featured four speakers: Chis Adams of McClatchy newspapers, Kelly Kennedy of the Army Times, Keith Summa of CBS News, and me.

To listen to my speech, click here.  To hear the entire panel, click here.


National Headliner Award      (2008)

Winner: Magazine Writing & Reporting — Coverage of a Major News Event


Casey Medal      (2008)

Winner: Magazine Reporting

The Casey Medal honors exemplary reporting on disadvantaged families.  It is presented by the Journalism Center on Children and Families, a resource for reporters covering health, crime and poverty.

Judges' comments:  "This is the kind of story that makes a reader want to march on Washington.  Kors' powerful reporting shows how some military doctors deny long-term benefits to wounded Iraq War veterans (and their families) by claiming the soldiers had a pre-existing 'personality disorder.'  Kors worked through the multiple challenges of dealing with the military, getting access to medical records and finding psychiatrists and soldiers willing to talk.  First-rate accountability reporting."


Military Reporters and Editors Award       (2008)

Winner: Joseph Galloway Award

Military Reporters and Editors (MRE) is the nation's foremost organization of military journalists.  For my series on fraudulent personality disorder discharges, I was awarded the Joseph Galloway Award.

Galloway, an acclaimed reporter for United Press International, covered the Vietnam War and was the only civilian to be awarded the Bronze Star.  The award, given in his honor, goes to one journalist each year for best coverage of military issues.


Deadline Club Award       (2011)

Winner: Investigative Reporting

The New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), better known as the Deadline Club, recognizes the city's best investigative reporting.

I won the award for my reporting on Sgt. Chuck Luther, who was tortured by Army officials into signing fraudulent documents saying he had a pre-existing condition before serving in Iraq and thus was ineligible for disability and medical benefits.

The judges' comments: "This groundbreaking story exposed a pattern of wounded veterans being pressured to accept discharges on fraudulent medical grounds that cost them disability benefits. The reporting was authoritative, detailed, compassionate and convincing."


Hume Award       (2011)


The Sandy Hume Memorial Award honors excellence and objectivity in political reporting. The prize is awarded by the National Press Club, a respected Washington organization of political reporters and government officers.

The Hume Award recognizes the work of young reporters. Winners must be 34 years or younger. The award is named after the late Sandy Hume, reporter for the political newspaper The Hill, who broke the story of the aborted 1987 coup against House Speaker Newt Gingrich

I won the award for my reporting on Sgt. Chuck Luther and the torture scandal.


Mental Health Media Award      (2008)

Winner: National Reporting

Mental Health America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues, like the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The organization, which was founded in 1909, awards journalists whose work educates the public and provides an accurate, in-depth portrayal of mental health issues.


Michael Kelly Award      (2008)


Michael Kelly, editor of The Atlantic Monthly, was killed in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq.  This award, given in his memory, honors reporting which shows a "fearless pursuit and expression of truth."

I was one of four finalists for this year's prize.  The award went to Loretta Tofani of the Salt Lake Tribune for her six-part series on how Chinese workers die while making American products.

To watch my speech at the awards ceremony, click here.


Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting      (2008)


Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize honors journalists whose reporting shines a light on government,
exposing impropriety and disclosing unnecessary secrets.

I was one of six finalists for this year's prize.  The award went to Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of the Washington Post for their four-part series on Dick Cheney.

To watch the Goldsmith awards ceremony, click hereA discussion of my reporting, by Tom Patterson, the director of Harvard's Shorenstein Center, begins at 16 minutes, 20 seconds.

The day after the awards ceremony the Goldsmith finalists were invited to discuss their reporting at the Shorenstein Center. 
To read a transcript of the panel discussion, click here.

To celebrate the award, the Contra Costa Times—the Knight Ridder paper I used to report for—released this article.


Public Service Award      (2011)


Each year the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), better known as the Deadline Club, recognizes investigative reporting that serves the public interest. I was selected as a finalist for my reporting on Sgt. Chuck Luther and the torture scandal.

This year's award went to Alan Schwarz of the New York Times for his groundbreaking reporting on concussions and the profound damage they can cause to young athletes. Schwarz's articles sparked a public outcry for safer football helmets and led to bills in the House and Senate that would force equipment manufacturers to adopt stricter standards.


Molly Ivins Prize      (2011)


The Molly National Journalism Prize, better known as The Molly, recognizes "superior journalism in the tradition of Molly Ivins," Texas' witty, wonderful political humorist. In a career that spanned four decades, Ivins wrote for the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Times Herald and Texas Observer, fearlessly taking aim at high-powered targets like George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.

She also wrote several aphorism-rich, best-selling books, including "You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You" and "Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush." Ivins died in 2007 after an extended battle with breast cancer.

For my reporting on Sgt. Chuck Luther and the torture scandal, I was awarded second place, tied with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who was nominated for her coverage of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal.

The winner was Harper's reporter Jeff Sharlet for his extraordinary reporting on Uganda, which considered legislation to punish homosexuality with the death penalty.


Livingston Award      (2008)


The Livingston Award recognizes exemplary reporting by young journalists.  The prize is named after Robert L. Livingston, publisher of the journalism review More.

I was selected as a finalist for my cover story on Sgt. Juan Jimenez, who is still struggling to convince the VA that his wounds are "service-connected" years after he was struck by a roadside bomb.


John Bartlow Martin Award     (2008)


Acclaimed reporter John Bartlow Martin died in 1987, following a 50-year career in which he spotlighted America's darkest corners, telling the stories of those affected by crime, poverty and discrimination.

The award, given in his honor by the Medill School of Journalism, recognizes magazine reporting that benefits the public interest.

This year's winner was Peter Landesman for his article in LA Weekly on the spread of gang violence.  My series on the personality disorder scandal was awarded second place.

In the words of the judges, the articles "expose in penetrating detail how military doctors are purposely misdiagnosing soldiers wounded in Iraq, labeling them mentally ill in order to cheat them out of medical care and disability pay."


Tom Renner Award     (2007)


The Tom Renner Award honors compelling reporting on organized crime.  I was selected as a finalist for my series on "personality disorder" discharges, which uncovered the military's systematic effort to defraud wounded soldiers. 

The prize is awarded by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (IRE), the nation's premier organization of investigative journalists. 

This year's award went to the Chauncey Bailey Project, a collection of reporters from 20 different California media outlets working together to investigate the murder of Oakland Post reporter Chauncey Bailey.  The project was spearheaded by Robert Rosenthal, former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and includes reporting from A.C. Thompson, Thomas Peele, Josh Richman, Angela Hill, Mary Fricker, G.W. Schulz, Cecily Burt, Bob Butler, Paul T. Rosynsky and Harry Harris


Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism      (2010)


The Medill Medal honors reporters who display "moral, ethical or physical courage in the pursuit of a story."  I was selected as a finalist for my reporting on Sergeant Chuck Luther and the torture scandal.

The prize is awarded by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, one of the most prestigious journalism programs in the country.

This year's award went to Jonathan Katz of the Associated Press for his intimate portrait of Haiti following the earthquake.  Before the quake, Katz was the only full-time U.S. journalist based in Haiti.  Though the quake left him homeless, he continued to report on the suffering of the Haitian people.

Katz's articles on the impoverished nation offer a disturbing look at overwhelming disaster, inadequate relief and rampant corruption


Silver Gavel Award      (2008)

Honorable Mention: Magazine Reporting

The American Bar Association awards the Silver Gavel to reporters whose work educates the public and sheds light on American law.

My series on personality disorder discharges was only magazine reporting recognized this year by the Association


George Foster Peabody Award      (2007)

In 2007 I collaborated with Bob Woodruff and the ABC News team on "World News Tonight" and "Nightline" pieces about the personality disorder scandal.  The "Nightline" report was part of a series on the struggles of wounded soldiers.

The series, "Wounds of War — The Long Road Home for Our Nation's Veterans," was awarded the Peabody. 

In recognizing the series, the Peabody committee wrote: "Severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Woodruff made wounded veterans and their struggle with recovery and red tape his special focus and served them well with his sensitive, dogged reporting."

The series was the work of an extensive news team, including producers James Hill, Tom Yellin, Kayce Jennings, Keith Summa, Gabrielle Tenenbaum, Wonbo Woo and Jaime Hennessey.

ABC News released this video to celebrate the award.

I, Joshua Kors, am the author of this article, "Joshua Kors," and I release its content under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 and later.
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