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CAMBRIDGE, MASS – The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting has been awarded to Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of The Associated Press by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy for their investigative report “NYPD Intelligence Division." The Shorenstein Center is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The New York Police Department, in close collaboration with the CIA and with nearly no outside oversight, developed clandestine spying programs that monitored and catalogued daily life in Muslim communities, from where people ate and shopped to where they worked and prayed. AP’s reporting led three dozen lawmakers in Washington to call for House Judiciary Committee and Justice Department investigations.
“The Goldsmith judges found that the AP had shown great courage and fortitude in pursuing what they knew would be a very sensitive story, but it was one that needed to be told” said Alex S. Jones, Director of the Shorenstein Center.
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:
An investigation into the murder of volunteer Kate Puzey in Africa uncovered a systematic failure to protect Peace Corps volunteers who were victims of sexual abuse or whistleblowers who tried to report it. The report led to a new law designed to protect Peace Corps volunteers, and requires hiring victims’ advocates and improved training.
Regulatory failures and political forces that cause millions of Americas to continue breathing unsafe air were exposed and, for the first time, the EPA’s internal “watch list” of the nation’s most troublesome air polluters were revealed. This report triggered immediate enforcement action in two states, a push for openness by the EPA and coverage across the U.S.
The I-team discovered public drinking water so contaminated with radiation that the underground plumbing it traveled through was turned away by scrap yards as “too hot” to recycle. Radiation lab test results for every community in Texas were wrongfully lowered, leaving consumers in the dark about health risks. After this report, many of the most radioactive water wells were taken offline.
Over the past decade, more than 1,200 developmentally disabled people in the care of New York State died for reasons other than natural causes, and state workers who beat or sexually abused them were allowed to keep their jobs. This report led Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to force out the two top state officials in charge of care for the developmentally disabled, and the state moved to fire 130 employees.
An analysis of presidential pardon recommendations made by the Justice Department shows that whites were nearly four times as likely as minorities to succeed; applicants with the support of a member of Congress were three times as likely to receive a pardon. These findings prompted the Justice Department to launch a review of the system.
A Special Citation was also given to: Bradley Keoun, Phil Kuntz, Bob Ivry, Craig Torres, Scott Lanman and Christopher Condon of
Bloomberg News for “The Fed’s Trillion-Dollar Secret”
Bloomberg News sued the Federal Reserve under the Freedom of Information Act, won an unprecedented release of records and then used sophisticated database reporting to reveal how the U.S. central bank dished $1.2 trillion in bailout loans to Wall Street’s biggest banks. Bloomberg’s lawsuit led Congress to create new disclosure rules in the Dodd-Frank law. The suit spurred the central bank to greater transparency and revealed the extreme extent of the 2008 bank crisis.
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 Book Prize for best academic book was awarded to: Jeffrey E. Cohen, for "Going Local: Presidential Leadership in the Post-Broadcast Age"
The Goldsmith Book Prize for best trade book went to: Evgeny Morozov, for "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom"
The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism was given to Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian.
The Goldsmith Awards Program is funded by an annual grant from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation.