Chicago Tribune reporters win Goldsmith Prize, Nicholas D. Kristof delivers keynote
March 5, 2013 – In an evening celebrating the importance of journalism, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof called for more risk taking in media as well as increased engagement with a global world. The press must experiment wiith new platforms and find new business models, he said, and journalism must confront the growing mistrust the public feels toward it.
“At its best, this can still really play such an important role in any society,” he told an audience convened by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, part of the Harvard Kennedy School.
Kristof, recipient of the Shorenstein Center’s Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism, was the keynote speaker at a ceremony that featured Chicago Tribune reporters Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne, who took home the $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for their series report “Playing with Fire.”
The Chicago Tribune’s investigative series revealed how a deceptive campaign by the chemical and tobacco industries brought toxic flame retardants into people’s homes and bodies, despite the fact that the dangerous chemicals don’t work as promised. As a result of the investigation, the U.S. Senate revived toxic chemical reform legislation and California moved to revamp the rules responsible for the presence of dangerous chemicals in furniture sold nationwide.
“The judges this year were especially struck by the initiative shown in recognizing a very important policy issue embedded in something as familiar and unthreatening as a sofa,” said Alex S. Jones, Director of the Shorenstein Center. “It goes to prove the importance of not just looking, but seeing and acting.”
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