Jason Paladino's investigative reporting into the Navy’s Sea Dragon program receives Freedom of Information award, aired on the NBC Nightly News.

Jason Paladino ’12 Receives Investigative Journalism Award


Jason Paladino ’12 has been awarded the Society of Professional Journalists – NorCal 2016 James Madison Freedom of Information Student Award for his investigation into the Navy’s Sea Dragon program.

Paladino’s investigative work, which he began as a student, resulted in an NBC Nightly News story entitled “Sea Dragon Down, The Human Cost of the Navy’s Most Crash-prone Chopper.” Beginning with Navy data, Paladino found that the Navy used the Cold War-era Sea Dragon helicopter for years, despite lacking proper maintenance and replacement parts. Records showed the Sea Dragon was frequently involved in crashes and fires, costing sailors their lives.

Paladino, who graduated from SNC Tahoe in 2012 with a Interdisciplinary BA in Journalism and Outdoor Adventure Leadership, went on to earn his MA in Journalism in 2015 from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is currently a fellow at the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program, focusing on the military, cybersecurity, defense and crime. While at SNC Tahoe he was the news editor and then managing editor for the Eagle’s Eye.

Read Paladino’s stories on NBC News:

Sea Dragon Down: The Human Cost of the Navy’s Most Crash-Prone Chopper (Feb 3, 2015)

Navy Revives Squadron for Crash-Prone Sea Dragon Choppers (Oct 5, 2015)

Super Stallion Chopper Crash Blamed on Engine With Troubled History (Oct 9, 2015)

The Society of Professional Journalists – NorCal James Madison Freedom of Information Awards recognize Northern California organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing freedom of information and/or expression in the spirit of James Madison, the creative force behind the First Amendment.