Shorenstein Center Announces Six Finalists for 2014 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

2014 Goldsmith AwardsJanuary 30, 2014 – Six finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting have been announced by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting will be announced at an awards ceremony on March 5, 2014, at the Kennedy School.

The Goldsmith Prizes are underwritten by an annual gift from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation. The Investigative Reporting Prize, which carries a $10,000 award for finalists and $25,000 for the winner, 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.

“The finalists this year are emblematic of the future of journalism: non-profit news organizations working with for-profits, individual investigations alongside enormous team investigations,  big media companies, a weekly newspaper—and excellence all around. It’s thrilling,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.

The six finalists for the 2014 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting are:

The Center for Public Integrity: Chris Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees
ABC News: Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz
“Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine”

A year-long investigation by The Center for Public Integrity, in partnership with the ABC News Brian Ross investigative unit, examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat benefit claims of coal miners who were sick and dying of black lung disease. The team explored thousands of previously classified legal filings and created an original database of medical evidence that showed how prominent lawyers withheld key evidence and doctors at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, hired by the coal industry, consistently denied the existence of advanced black lung on X-rays. Following the online and network news reports, Johns Hopkins suspended its black lung program, U.S. senators began crafting reform legislation and members of Congress called for a federal investigation.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ): ICIJ is a project of the Washington, D.C.–based Center for Public Integrity.
“Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze”

Based on more than 2.5 million leaked files, this 50-article, world-wide investigative project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington involved 112 journalists and 42 media partners in 58 countries. It took more than 18 months of challenging and risky work to reveal more than 120,000 names and companies in a secret parallel economy of offshore tax havens that benefit the few at the expense of the many. The stories prompted international tax investigations, led by the IRS, in partnership with UK and Australian tax authorities.

The Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), FRONTLINE, Univisión Documentaries, KQED
Andrés Cediel, Bernice Yeung, Lowell Bergman, Lauren Rosenfeld, Grace Rubenstein, Stephanie Mechura and Ariane Wu
“Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño”

In an unprecedented media collaboration that spanned two languages, television, radio and print, “Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño” uncovered pervasive sexual assault against immigrant women working in the agricultural industry. As a result of the report and the national discussion it spurred, local rape crisis centers are doing outreach to farm workers, district attorneys are beginning to file criminal charges against perpetrators, and state officials are drafting legislation to combat this widespread sexual abuse.

The Miami New Times
Tim Elfrink
“Biogenesis: Steroids, Baseball and an Industry Gone Wrong”

Miami New Times’ year-long series on doping and so-called “anti-aging” clinics resulted directly in suspension of 13 players, including a record 162 games for Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. It was the largest round of such discipline in the history of American sport. The series also revealed systemic failure in Florida that allowed felons to own clinics like Biogenesis employing physicians with long disciplinary histories to sell federally restricted drugs such as steroids, testosterone and human growth hormone. The New Times probe forced baseball to confront its doping problems and the state to move toward policing its clinics.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ellen Gabler, Mark Johnson, John Fauber, Allan James Vestal and Kristyna Wentz-Graff
“Deadly Delays”

The Journal Sentinel’s groundbreaking investigation found that thousands of hospitals — and dozens of state agencies that oversee the nation’s newborn screening programs — are failing America’s children due to an ineffective and unaccountable system. In a first-ever data analysis, the investigation revealed that each year hundreds of thousands of blood samples arrive late at labs across the country—in some cases because they were held and “batched” to save a few dollars in postage—putting babies at risk of disability and death.

The Wall Street Journal
Michael M. Phillips
“The Lobotomy Files”

In his series, Michael M. Phillips detailed how the U.S. Veterans Administration lobotomized more than 2,000 mentally troubled troops after World War II. Using documents the government didn’t know it had about a shocking medical practice it didn’t remember performing, the articles challenged the deeply held myth that the Greatest Generation came through war emotionally unscathed.

Special Citation:

Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr
The Reuters series, “Unaccountable,” by Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr, exposed widespread accounting malpractice at the Defense Department and explains the human and economic costs.

Judges for the Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize were: Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Patricia Callahan, Investigative Reporter at the Chicago Tribune; Robert H. Giles, former curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism; Ben Greenfield and Bill Epstein, representing the Greenfield Foundation. 

The Goldsmith Awards Ceremony

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

6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, 2014

John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA