2020 Goldsmith Prize Announcement Video Transcript

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March 23, 2020, 3:25 pm

Below is a transcript of the spoken portions of the video announcing the 2020 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting winner.

Hi, I’m Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and this is not how we expected to welcome you to the annual awarding of the Goldsmith Prize. Ordinarily, the Kennedy School Forum would be full of students and faculty and friends, and we could celebrate together some extraordinary acts of journalism this year. But it’s exactly because this is such an unusual time that it’s all the more important that we elevate the important, hazardous, enterprising work that our finalists did this year.

The Goldsmith Prize recognizes journalism that promotes more ethical and effective public policy and the practice of politics. It is made possible by a generous grant from the Greenfield Foundation, and this year we had a record number of entries – more than 175. So my thanks, first of all, goes out to our judges, who worked very hard to study all of these entries and evaluate them to come down to our five finalists, and our ultimate winner.

This year’s finalists represent some of the most important trends shaping journalism today. It includes large national news organizations, and the small local newsrooms that are increasingly embattled. Our finalists are from legacy media and new media, print and online and broadcast, East Coast, West Coast, and communities in between. Importantly, we saw a record number of partnerships – whether it’s ProPublica joining forces with the Anchorage Daily News, or the Arizona Republic and USA TODAY Network aligning with the Center for Public Integrity. We saw superb reporting on matters of national importance, like the war in Afghanistan, or regional importance like the manipulation of legislation, or the absence of CO detectors in public housing, or law enforcement in rural communities. And on issues of very personal, intimate importance like the failures and harm caused by medical devices.

Here are the five finalists for the 2020 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting:

Lawless
By Kyle Hopkins
Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica

Hidden Harm
By Christina Jewett
Kaiser Health News

Silent Killer
By Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler
NBC News

Fleeing Justice
By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
The Oregonian/OregonLive

The Afghanistan Papers/A Secret History of the War
By Craig Whitlock
The Washington Post

These five finalists are a superb collection of ingenious, enterprising, tireless reporting, of the kind on which democracy depends. Each of the five finalists had a significant impact on U.S. public policy.

The winner this year is a collaborative project that built a tool to ensure greater accountability and transparency in policy making all across the country. I am thrilled to announce that the winner of this year’s Goldsmith Prize is Copy.Paste.Legislate, by the staffs of the Arizona Republic, USA TODAY, and the Center for Public Integrity.