Shorenstein Center Announces Book Prize Winners and Finalists for the 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: February 08, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Three winners of the Goldsmith Book Prize and six finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting have been announced by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, which carries a cash award of $25,000, will be announced at an awards ceremony on March 7, 2011 at the Kennedy School.

The Goldsmith Prizes are underwritten by an annual gift from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation. The book prizes were created to honor the best academic and trade books of the year on journalism, with a $5,000 award for each category. The Investigative Reporting Prize, which carries a $10,000 award for finalists, is intended to recognize and encourage 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, or instances of particularly commendable government performance.

“These finalists represent stunning journalism that is in the public’s most critical best interest,”
said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.

The 2011 Goldsmith Book Prize Winners are:


Tim Groeling for When Politicians Attack: Party Cohesion in the Media, Cambridge University Press,
and Patrick J. Sellers for Cycles of Spin: Strategic Communication in the U.S. Congress, Cambridge University Press.


Jack Fuller for What is Happening to the News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism, University of Chicago Press.

The six finalists for the 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting are:

Marshall Allen and Alex Richards
Las Vegas Sun
“Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas”

After a two-year investigation, including the review of 2.9 million records, the Sun’s five-part series identifies the preventable infections and injuries taking place in Las Vegas hospitals. Allen and Richards set out to impose transparency on Las Vegas hospitals so they will be held accountable. Their findings resulted in consumers having access to quality-of-care data that will help them make smart decisions.

Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives and The Los Angeles Times Staff
The Los Angeles Times
“Breach of Faith”

An investigation by the Los Angeles Times exposed widespread corruption in the tiny city of Bell, leading to multiple investigations, eight arrests, multimillion-dollar refunds for taxpayers and greater transparency about government salaries across California.

Laura Sullivan and Steven Drummond
National Public Radio
“Behind the Bail Bond System”

A three-part series examining bail in the United States, National Public Radio’s Laura Sullivan has been exploring the powerful bail industry and found that it hurts defendants, their victims and taxpayers.
NPR’s reporting has been cited in county commission meetings in Florida and in the Statehouses in Virginia, Florida and North Carolina.

Jesse Eisinger, Jake Bernstein, ProPublica;
Adam Davidson, Planet Money, National Public Radio;
Ira Glass and Alex Blumberg, This American Life, Chicago Public Radio
“Betting Against the American Dream – The Wall Street Money Machine”

ProPublica, in collaboration with NPR’s Planet Money and Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life, revealed how the recession of 2008 was significantly deepened by the machinations of Merrill Lynch, Citibank and Magnetar, a little-known hedge fund. As a result, the SEC is investigating deals referenced in the series and it influenced new rules being implemented from the financial reform bill.

Karen de Sa
San Jose Mercury News
“Sponsored Bills in Sacramento”

Karen de Sa’s series provides the first comprehensive examination of the influences of outside interests in California lawmaking. As a result of her investigation, legislative leaders are proposing rule changes; outside groups are pushing for mandatory disclosure of all meetings between lawmakers and lobbyists, and greater disclosure of campaign contributions from sponsors; and there is a ballot measure to repeal the term limit law.

Dana Priest and William Arkin
The Washington Post
“Top Secret America”

“Top Secret America” describes a massive expansion of government created in response to 9-11 that has become so large, unwieldy and secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or how many programs exist within it. The two year-long project resulted in Congressional investigations, a review of all intelligence programs requested by the Defense Secretary, and the CIA’s reduction of contract workforce.

The Goldsmith Awards Ceremony

When: 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 7, 2011

Where: John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA

What: Presentation of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Goldsmith Book Prizes and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism.


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