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Cambridge, MA — The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting has been awarded to Diana Henriques of The New York Times by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy for her investigative report "Captive Clientele." The Shorenstein Center is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In her investigative series, business reporter Diana Henriques exposed how insurance companies, investment firms and lenders have cheated thousands of American soldiers and their families through the sale of misleading insurance policies and loans. She also revealed that the people selling these dubious products were often former military officers, using their authority and credibility to take advantage of trusting soldiers.
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:
Paul Donsky and Ken Foskett, of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for their story "Wired for Waste" in which they revealed how the Atlanta Public Schools misspent or mismanaged nearly $73 million from a national program intended to give poor children access to the Internet.
James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly for "Blind into Baghdad." Based on extensive investigative work with military and intelligence officials, Fallows examined the origins and consequences of America's difficulties in occupied Iraq.
Steve Suo and Erin Hoover Barnett of The Oregonian, for "Unnecessary Epidemic" which tackled methamphetamine abuse in Oregon and uncovered loopholes within the pharmaceutical industry that perpetuate the problem.
Ken Armstrong, Florangela Davila and Justin Mayo of The Seattle Times, for their series "The Empty Promise of an Equal Defense," which exposed how public defenders in Washington work under crushing caseloads and financial conflicts. The result was poor representation and little prospect of justice.
Brett Shipp and Mark Smith of WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX for "State of Denial." Their broadcasts revealed how state regulators failed to penalize insurance carriers when they unjustly denied benefits to thousands of legitimately injured Texas workers.
A Special Award of Recognition was also given to Frontline and the BBC for "Ghosts of Rwanda." This documentary, marking the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, powerfully recounted the horrors that occurred in Rwanda and the lack of support received from the United States and the international community.
In addition, Goldsmith Book Prizes were awarded to Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini for Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics, and to Paul Starr for The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications. The Goldsmith Book Prize is awarded to the best academic and best trade books that seek to improve the quality of government or politics through an examination of press and politics in the formation of public policy.
The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was given to Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News.
The annual Goldsmith Awards Program is funded by the Goldsmith-Greenfield Foundation.