Tag Archives: Awards
by Chris Roush
The New York Times, USA Today and a joint project by The Charlotte Observer and The (Raleigh) News & Observer won gold, silver and bronze awards respectively in the sixth annual Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism announced Thursday.
Named for the renowned investigative team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, whose numerous awards include two Pulitzer Prizes, these annual awards funded by the Reynolds Center celebrate the best in investigative business journalism.
GOLD: “Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart after Top-Level Struggle,” by David Barstow of The New York Times, received the top gold award of $5,000. Barstow obtained hundreds of confidential documents and interviewed important players in the company’s internal inquiry. He discovered Wal-Mart had received powerful evidence that its Mexican executives used systematic bribery payments totaling more than $24 million to obtain zoning rulings and construction permits.
SILVER: “Ghost Factories,” by lead reporters Alison Young and Peter Eisler of USA Today, received the silver award of $2,000. The series involved a 14-month investigation that revealed locations of more than 230 long-forgotten smelters and the poisonous lead they left behind. Reporters used handheld X-ray devices to collect and test 1,000 soil samples to prove there was a serious threat to children living in dozens of neighborhoods.
BRONZE: “Prognosis: Profits,” by Ames Alexander, Karen Garloch, Joseph Neff and David Raynor, received the $1,000 bronze award for a joint project of The Charlotte Observer and The (Raleigh) News & Observer. Reporters dissected finances of large institutions through documents and sources to paint a compelling picture of nonprofit hospitals that function as for-profit institutions—often to the detriment of their care and charity missions. Discovered were inflated prices on drugs and procedures, lawsuits against thousands of needy patients and minimal charity care to poor and uninsured patients.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Susie Gharib, the New York-based anchor of “Nightly Business Report” on PBS, will receive the Elliott V. Bell Award from the New York Financial Writers’ Association.
Named for the first president of the NYFWA, the award honors an individual’s lifetime contributions to the field of financial journalism.
Gharib’s weeknight broadcasts from the New York Stock Exchange focus on the economy and the financial markets. A co-anchor and executive vice president of strategy for NBR, television’s most-watched evening business news program, she is best known for her no-nonsense interview style of corporate America’s leading power brokers, from Wall Street to Washington.
She has interviewed former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and most of the Fed’s policymakers. Gharib has also been welcomed into the White House several times to interview President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.
Gharib joined NBR in 1998 after a distinguished 20-year career working at some of America’s most prestigious print and broadcast organization, including CNBC, NBC, ESPN, and WABC- TV/New York.
Gharib launched her career as a business journalist at Fortune magazine where she was a senior writer and associate editor. Her previous work includes reporter positions at Newsweek magazine, the Associated Press, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
A magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Case Western Reserve University, Gharib also earned her master’s degree in international affairs at Columbia University. She is the recipient of both the 2001 Gracie Allen Award as the top anchorwoman of a national news program and two Front Page Awards from the Newswoman’s Club of New York, and a Fulbright Award for furthering Global Business Understanding.
The NYFWA membership is invited to the Elliott V. Bell Award presentation ceremony on Monday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
by Chris Roush
Bloomberg News reporter Peter S. Green has won the third annual Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, given by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
The award recognizes Green’s sophisticated and influential coverage of widespread tax avoidance among U.S. corporations amid ambivalent, ineffectual use by the Internal Revenue Service of the whistle blower program that Congress created to assist the agency in 2006.
In a pair of major feature stories in 2011 and 2012, and follow-up news coverage this year: In July, 2011, he exposed the corporate problem by highlighting a whistle blower suit charging that construction equipment giant Caterpillar Inc.’s avoided $2 billion of taxes from 2000 to 2009 by improperly attributing to a Swiss unit at least $5.6 billion of profits from its lucrative parts business, even though the profits came from sales and shipments made by U.S. employees, from a U.S. warehouse.
On June 19 this year, Peter and Bloomberg reporter-at-large Jesse Drucker examined IRS resistance to actively using the 1,300 whistle blowers who have come forward under the Congressionally-mandated program. They found IRS fears of violating privacy laws, worry over Congressional badgering in behalf of influential constituents under investigation, and concerns over critical staff shortages.
The Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize memorializes the former Business Week columnist and editor — and Knight-Bagehot advisory board member — who died in June 2010, at age 72. It is awarded for any story or series produced by a graduate of the Knight-Bagehot program that best reflect business and financial sophistication and epitomizes Welles’ ideals of thorough reporting, good storytelling and timeliness.
Green will receive the Welles Prize at the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship’s 37th anniversary dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in New York.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Shows on ABC, CBS and PBS were among the media organizations receiving Emmy Awards for business and economics coverage.
The ABC shows “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “World News with Diane Sawyer” received an Emmy for outstanding business and economic reporting in a regularly scheduled newscast for “Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra.”
Beginning in March, the Center for Public Integrity’s Ronnie Greene and ABC’s Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross exposed flaws in the Department of Energy’s billion-dollar spending spree, revealed deep links between Obama campaign bundlers and energy contracts and foreshadowed the financial and political storm that later engulfed Solyndra. Their reporting for “Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra” broke ground before Solyndra’s meltdown, and went well beyond the company in revealing a web of connections entangling a department lauded for its innovation. Their stories tied major Obama donors to lucrative green energy contracts for everything from electric cars to diesel substitutes.
The CBS show “60 Minutes” received an Emmy for outstanding business and economic reporting in a news magazine for “The Next Housing Shock.”
Scott Pelley reported that as more and more Americans face mortgage foreclosure, banks’ crucial ownership documents for the properties are often unclear and are sometimes even bogus, a condition that’s causing lawsuits and hampering an already weak housing market.
The PBS show “POV” won an Emmy for outstanding business and economic reporting — long form for “Last Train Home.” It also received an Emmy for best documentary.
Producer Lixin Fan covered a rich, human portrait of China’s rush to economic development. Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work.
See all of the winners here.
by Liz Hester
Each year the honor, SABEW’s highest, is given to someone “who has made a significant impact on the field of business journalism and who has served as a nurturing influence on other in the profession.”
Henriques has written four books, including the most recent “The Wizard of Lies” about Bernard Madoff.
She started at the Times in 1989 and specializes in writing about white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance. She was a member of the teams that were Pulitzer Prize finalists for coverage of the 2008 financial crisis and the Enron scandal.
She serves on the SABEW board of governors and the board of trustees at George Washington University.
To close the evening, Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, interviewed Henriques about how she got into journalism and accountability.
When asked what drew her to business journalism, Henriques said it was a “fascination with the con artist” and a low threshold for outrage.
“It’s a morally fascinating environment,” she said. “If profit maximization is the name of the game, how do you keep people honest? How do you keep them from maximizing their own profit at your expense.”
Of business journalism, Henriques said, “It’s an enormous amount of fun and enormously important that people understand it.”
The conversation then turned to Henriques’ book on Madoff and how she got him to talk to her. (Madoff is no longer speaking to her.) Her advice was to be persistant and not take no for an answer. It took months to convince him and his lawyers to cooperate with her.
After finally getting approval to meet with him, she recounted the trials of going into the prison, without a recording device, and having the prison approve pen, pad and files to be brought into the visitor’s room.
She also discussed how she connected with him and the questions she asked Madoff in the short period of time she had with him. Some of the harder questions, she saved for the end of the interview.
One was about the beginning of the fraud. Madoff told her he couldn’t remember the moment when he turned from being an honest broker to running a Ponzi scheme.
Henriques said she didn’t believe it possible not to remember the moment and that’s when she realized he was lying about how it started. This was the issue that caused Madoff to stop talking to her — not the book’s publication.
by Chris Roush
The SPJ board of directors and Freedom of Information Committee honor people or organizations each year for their notable contributions to open government.
In 2008, Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Reserve as a means to acquire information on the banks receiving money from the Fed as the financial crisis gained momentum. Though initially denied, Pittman’s request was fulfilled by a 2011 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the news organization. Bloomberg took the 29,000 pages of information it received and conveyed it to the public through more than 20 stories, graphics and databases on the government’s response to the financial crisis.
“‘The new openness was evident in the Fed’s unprecedented response to Bloomberg’s revelations,’ Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler wrote to the selection committee. ‘Without citing any particular story — or mentioning Bloomberg by name — the central bank’s staff leveled numerous public complaints about the disclosures, and about the way other media outlets mischaracterized them. Bloomberg responded point by point to the Fed, successfully defending each one.’
Pittman died in 2009, ‘before he could pore over the fruits of his cop reporter instincts and his unyielding inquisitiveness,’ Winkler wrote.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award includes an array of titles charting the strengths and weaknesses of the American corporate, economic and financial system.
William Silber’s forthcoming biography of former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker sits alongside Walter Isaacson’s life of the late Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. The stories of ExxonMobil under Lee Raymond and Rex Tillerson, and Ford under Alan Mulally, are tackled by, respectively, Steve Coll (Private Empire) and Bryce Hoffman (American Icon).
But tales of towering US personalities and companies were outnumbered among the 262 entries by books warning of threats to the world’s biggest economy. In this vein, the longlist includes Luigi Zingales’s warnings about US cronyism (A Capitalism for the People), and Michael Sandel’s dissection of a world where everything is for sale (What Money Can’t Buy). Philip Coggan’s Paper Promises and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, each take different long views of the flaws in global finance and the roots of power and prosperity. Guy Lawson’s Octopus focuses on the Bayou hedge fund fraud, a signature scandal of the past decade, while Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) and John Coates (The Hour Between Dog and Wolf) explore the scientific secrets of success and failure in financial markets and beyond.
In search of hope, some of the authors turn to fast-growing markets. Tom Doctoroff’s What Chinese Want addresses the question of how to woo the country’s consumers, while Christopher Meyer and Julie Kirby (Standing on the Sun) find innovative examples of the new capitalism from India to Brazil. Ruchir Sharma (Breakout Nations) suggests the world should look beyond the big Bric countries for growth. And in Abundance, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler forecast greater gains from scientific and technological breakthroughs in the coming two decades than in the past two centuries.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The Boston Globe has won The Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for a 2011 series on the mislabeling of fish at area restaurants and supermarkets.
Shirley Leung of The Globe writes, “The award, which comes with $5,000 in prize money, recognizes groundbreaking journalism that creatively uses digital tools. The Globe’s ‘Fishy Business’ series was a five-month investigation that found that Massachusetts consumers routinely and unknowingly paid for less desirable fish, some of which can cause illness. The series involved DNA testing of samples collected from 134 restaurants, grocery stores, and seafood markets. Forty-eight percent of 183 samples turned out to be a different species than what was advertised.
“The results were put into an interactive database online that employed responsive design, a technology that automatically adjusts the layout and presentation to fit any device being used from a desktop to a smartphone.
“Gannett, one of the country’s biggest media companies, announced the award Friday night in Las Vegas at the annual gathering of the Asian American Journalists Association.”
Read more here. In July, the Globe won an award for the series in the 2012 National Press Club Journalism Contest.
by Chris Roush
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual Best in Business contest is adding two new categories — one in covering small business and one in covering technology.
Mark Scarp of the SABEW staff writes, “These categories join Personal Finance and Real Estate as categories that recognize excellence in reporting on topics unique to business journalism.
“SABEW also introduces Innovation: a category that will recognize creative and bold initiatives across all facets of business journalism, from exciting new apps to interesting storytelling experiments. This replaces Creative Use of Multiple Platforms.
“In other contest developments, Blogs, formerly a separate category, will merge with the Opinion/Column category in each division to create an overall Commentary category.
“This year’s contest opens with an Early Bird Period on Dec. 4: This year’s entrants will be able to enter at last year’s prices, which will be posted on sabew.org along with other contest information. The final deadline for entries will be Jan. 29, 2013. Winners will be announced at our 50th anniversary annual conference in Washington, D.C., April 4-6.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Diana B. Henriques, an award-winning financial journalist and author of The Wizard of Lies, the New York Times bestseller about the Bernie Madoff scandal, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award this year from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the organization announced.
The award, which is SABEW’s highest honor, is given annually to someone who has made a significant impact on the field of business journalism and who has served as a nurturing influence on others in the profession.
“We could think of no one who meets this criteria more than Diana,” said Kevin Noblet, chair of the selection committee. “Her investigative reporting sets a high standard for all of us in terms of rigor and relevance. And she has been so generous to those who ask her help to become better professionals.”
Henriques will receive the award Sept. 27, during SABEW’s annual fall conference at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
A reporter for The New York Times since 1989, Henriques has largely specialized in investigative reporting on white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance. She was a member of The New York Times’ reporting teams that were Pulitzer Prize finalists for coverage of the 2008 financial crisis and the aftermath of the Enron scandals.
She was also a member of a team that won a 1999 Gerald Loeb Award for covering the near-collapse of Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund whose troubles rocked the financial markets in September 1998. And she was one of four reporters honored in 1996 by the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, for a series on how wealthy Americans legally sidestep taxes.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Henriques and another reporter at The Times, David Barstow, covered the management of billions of dollars in charity and victim assistance as part of the paper’s award-winning section, “A Nation Challenged.” She also chronicled the fate of Cantor Fitzgerald, the Wall Street firm that suffered the largest death toll in the World Trade Center attacks.
But she is proudest of her 2004 series exposing the exploitation of American military personnel by financial service companies. Her work prompted legislative reform and cash reimbursements for tens of thousands of defrauded service members, drawing recognition and thanks from military lawyers and families across the country. For that series, she was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005 and received a George Polk Award, Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Worth Bingham Prize.