Henriques named winner of SABEW’s distinguished achievement award

Posted By Spring Eselgroth

Special to SABEW


PHOENIX, July 19, 2012 — 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.

Born in Texas but raised mostly in Roanoke, Va., Henriques is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of what is now the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Besides her book on the Madoff scandal, Ms. Henriques is also the author of Fidelity’s World, The White Sharks of Wall Street and The Machinery of Greed.

Henriques has been awarded a Ferris visiting professorship in writing at Princeton University for the 2012-2013 academic year and is a frequent guest lecturer for business journalism classes and workshops elsewhere. In 2003, she was elected to SABEW’s board of governors and in 2011, she was elected to the board of trustees of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She and her husband live in Hoboken, N.J.

The SABEW Distinguished Achievement Award was established in 1993, when it was awarded to Hobart Rowan of The Washington Post. There have been 20 recipients since.  This year’s selection committee included past presidents Noblet, Rob Reuteman and Greg McCune, current president Jill Jorden Spitz and vice president Beth Hunt.

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