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CAMBRIDGE, MASS – The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting has been awarded to Chris Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees of The Center for Public Integrity and Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz of ABC News by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy for their investigative report “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine.” The Shorenstein Center is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
A year-long investigation by The Center for Public Integrity, in partnership with the ABC News Brian Ross investigative unit, examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat benefit claims of coal miners who were sick and dying of black lung disease. The team explored thousands of previously classified legal filings and created an original database of medical evidence that showed how prominent lawyers withheld key evidence and doctors at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, hired by the coal industry, consistently denied the existence of advanced black lung on X-rays. Following the online and network news reports, Johns Hopkins suspended its black lung program, U.S. senators began crafting reform legislation and members of Congress called for a federal investigation.
“This year, three of the six Goldsmith finalists were collaborations among news organizations, among forms of media, and among platforms,” said Alex S. Jones, Director of the Shorenstein Center. “Collaboration is definitely the journalism world to come and it is producing some extraordinary work.”
Launched in 1991, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting honors journalism which promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics by disclosing excessive secrecy, impropriety and mismanagement.
The five finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting were:
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ): ICIJ is a project of the Washington, D.C.–based Center for Public Integrity.
“Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze”
Based on more than 2.5 million leaked files, this 50-article, world-wide investigative project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington involved 112 journalists and 42 media partners in 58 countries. It took more than 18 months of challenging and risky work to reveal more than 120,000 names and companies in a secret parallel economy of offshore tax havens that benefit the few at the expense of the many. The stories prompted international tax investigations, led by the IRS, in partnership with UK and Australian tax authorities.
The Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), FRONTLINE, Univisión Documentaries, KQED
Andrés Cediel, Bernice Yeung, Lowell Bergman, Lauren Rosenfeld, Grace Rubenstein, Stephanie Mechura
and Ariane Wu
“Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño”
In an unprecedented media collaboration that spanned two languages, television, radio and print, “Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño” uncovered pervasive sexual assault against immigrant women working in the agriculture industry. As a result of the report and the national discussion it spurred, local rape crisis centers are doing outreach to farm workers, district attorneys are beginning to file criminal charges against perpetrators, and state officials are drafting legislation to combat this widespread sexual abuse.
The Miami New Times
“Biogenesis: Steroids, Baseball and an Industry Gone Wrong”
Miami New Times’ year-long series on doping and so-called “anti-aging” clinics resulted directly in suspension of 13 players, including a record 162 games for Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. It was the largest round of such discipline in the history of American sport. The series also revealed systemic failure in Florida that allowed felons to own clinics like Biogenesis employing physicians with long disciplinary histories to sell federally restricted drugs such as steroids, testosterone and human growth hormone. The New Times probe forced baseball to confront its doping problems and the state to move toward policing its clinics.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ellen Gabler, Mark Johnson, John Fauber, Allan James Vestal and Kristyna Wentz-Graff
The Journal Sentinel’s groundbreaking investigation found that thousands of hospitals — and dozens of state agencies that oversee the nation’s newborn screening programs — are failing America’s babies and parents due to an ineffective and unaccountable system. In a first-ever data analysis, the investigation revealed that each year hundreds of thousands of blood samples arrive late at labs across the country—in some cases because they were held and “batched” to save a few dollars in postage—putting babies at risk of disability and death.
The Wall Street Journal
Michael M. Phillips
“The Lobotomy Files”
In his series, Michael M. Phillips detailed how the U.S. Veterans Administration lobotomized more than 2,000 mentally troubled troops after World War II. Using documents the government didn’t know it had about a shocking medical practice it didn’t remember performing, the articles challenged the deeply held myth that the Greatest Generation came through war emotionally unscathed.
Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr
The Reuters series, “Unaccountable,” by Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr, exposed widespread accounting malpractice at the Defense Department and explains the human and economic costs of Pentagon accounting flaws.
Judges for the Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize were: Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Patricia Callahan, Investigative Reporter at the Chicago Tribune; Robert H. Giles, former curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism; Ben Greenfield and Bill Epstein, representing the Greenfield Foundation.
The Goldsmith Awards Ceremony
Presentation of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Goldsmith Book Prizes and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism.
6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, 2014
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA
The Goldsmith Book Prize is awarded to the academic and trade books that best fulfill the objective of improving democratic governance through an examination of the intersection between the media, politics and public policy.
The Goldsmith Book Prize for best academic book(s) were awarded to:
Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson, for Changing Minds or Changing Channels? Partisan News in an Age of Choice.
Matthew Levendusky, for How Partisan Media Polarize America.
The Goldsmith Book Prize for best trade book went to:
Jaron Lanier, for Who Owns the Future?
The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was given to Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent and Anchor of “State of the Union with Candy Crowley,” CNN.
The Goldsmith Awards Program is funded by an annual grant from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation.