Real Estate; Medium

Winner – The Globe and Mail: Inside the fall of Fortress

  • Contributor – Janet McFarland
  • Judges’ Comments – This superb investigative piece exposed a real estate scam that preyed on thousands of small, unsophisticated investors to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars — siphoning off life savings through a maze of companies that resembled an octopus perpetually growing new arms. It started with an excellent anecdote, and followed through with clear writing, descriptive details and instructive follow-the-money graphics that made this piece a standout — and the winner. The Globe and Mail also deserves credit for its willingness to devote the resources and space to telling this story so comprehensively and conveying victims’ experiences, even before charges were brought by Canadian authorities.

Honorable Mention – Houston Chronicle: Real estate in the aftermath of Harvey

  • Contributors – Nancy Sarnoff, Mark Collette, David Hunn, Matt Dempsey
  • Judges’ Comments – This series gave readers an on-the-street view of the housing aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, with insightful reporting from those affected, smart analysis of the local and federal responses, compelling panoramic photos and helpful graphics to explain the geographic impact. The package put Houston’s flooding in a national perspective, showing how trends in local communities’ responses have implications for even the nation’s federal flood insurance program.
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