Cambridge, MA —The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School has been awarded to Nina Martin of ProPublica and Renee Montagne of NPR for their investigative reporting series Lost Mothers.
The United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the developed world; NPR and ProPublica found at least half could be prevented with better care. The series tracked maternal deaths, saved lives by raising public awareness of post-birth complications, and prompted legislation in New Jersey and Texas.
“The mothers of America deserve the best medical care before, during, and after childbirth. We not only owe them that dignity—it is a moral imperative,” said Shorenstein Center Director Nicco Mele. “The state of that care, uncovered by Nina Martin and Renee Montagne’s reporting, deserves close scrutiny. The Goldsmith judges had the challenge of choosing one winner from a number of compelling, important stories this year. ‘Lost Mothers’ is undoubtedly deserving of this special recognition. An underreported story with a devastatingly human angle, their report shines a light on a problem all around us, but rarely told with such power and grace.”
Additionally, the Shorenstein Center awarded the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism to Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief global affairs correspondent and co-anchor of This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Five finalists and a special citation; each team received $10,000:
Asbury Park Press
Shannon Mullen and Payton Guion
This investigation exposed the hazardous living conditions of thousands of tenants in New Jersey’s government-supported housing. As a result, the state issued more than 1,800 violations, and two state senators introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at fixing many of the issues brought to light in the series.
Broken Justice in Chicago
BuzzFeed News investigated a Chicago detective accused by the community of framing more than 50 people for murder. The findings from the series led to the freeing of an innocent man from prison after 23 years, and authorities reviewed the cases of other prisoners.
Carol Marbin Miller, Audra D.S. Burch, Emily Michot, and the Miami Herald digital team
Fight Club: An Investigation into Florida Juvenile Justice
This investigation found widespread beatings and brutality, sexual exploitation, and medical neglect in Florida’s juvenile detention centers. As a result, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice overhauled its hiring practices and created an Office of Youth and Family Advocacy to investigate complaints.
STAT and The Boston Globe
David Armstrong and Evan Allen
The Addiction Trade
STAT and The Boston Globe exposed treatment centers, middlemen, and consultants that exploited people seeking addiction treatment, and has led to criminal and congressional probes. Stories ranged from insurance fraud schemes, to poor care at Recovery Centers of America, to patient health put at risk on the TV program Dr. Phil.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post staff
The Washington Post examined Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible links between the Trump campaign and Kremlin agents, and the United States’ response throughout 2017. The Post’s reporting contributed to the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The New York Times
Emily Steel, Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, Michael S. Schmidt, and New York Times staff
By revealing secret settlements, persuading victims to speak, and bringing powerful men across industries to account, such as Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, and Louis C.K, New York Times reporters spurred a worldwide reckoning about sexual harassment and abuse.
About the Goldsmith Awards
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 Goldsmith Prizes are funded by an annual gift from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation.
The Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize judges were Susan Crawford, John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Kristen Go, Director of Special Projects at the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; Mike Greenfield, Trustee of the Greenfield Foundation; Ron Nixon, homeland security correspondent for The New York Times and co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting; Jennifer Preston, vice president for journalism, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Maralee Schwartz, contributing editor at Columbia Journalism Review and former political editor, The Washington Post; and the Hon. Mark L. Wolf, Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center, chaired the meeting. Judges recused themselves from voting on entries from their employers.