Winner – The New York Times; Crypto Meltdown
There was a lot of coverage of the crypto wipeout in 2022, and most of the coverage reacted to developments. By contrast, the lead story in this entry foretold the problems that would eventually lead to the collapse of FTX, which may be the most emblematic failure in the crypto industry to date. The other two stories in the entry broadened the reader’s understanding of the complex figure at the center of FTX and his grandiose ambitions. Overall, this package formed a terrific narrative account of one of the most important business stories of 2022. Engaging writing and deep sourcing brought this story to life.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; Microfinance Misery: Tiny Debts, Big Problems
This package demonstrated how the growth of the global microfinance industry has trapped thousands of poor people around the world in debt. The reporting, which included interviews with Cambodian women who had to sell their homes to repay loans and Jordan women who were sent to prison for failure to pay their debt, represented a significant journalism effort and remarkable range. This package drew attention to the devastating exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable under the guise of innovation. And it had an impact. The series prompted the World Bank to open an investigation into alleged abuses by Cambodian microfinance companies. It spurred the House Oversight Committee to push U.S. development agencies for more accountability and better consumer protection.
Honorable Mention – Reuters; Crypto Giant Binance
This reporting dug into Binance’s pattern of withholding information from regulators and maintaining weak money-laundering checks on its users. The package shows that Binance operated outside the rules that govern traditional financial firms and many crypto rivals. The reporters behind this coverage tracked the far-flung empire of a crypto sorcerer whose company might end up as the next FTX.
Winner – Kaiser Health News; Patients for Profit: How Private Equity Hijacked Health Care
In a competitive category, Kaiser Health News (KHN), in a comprehensive series of investigative stories, revealed how private equity firms have consolidated and reshaped the way healthcare is delivered. KNH dug into how deals are structured to fall outside the watch of regulators. Through compelling storytelling, KHN showed how these financiers are impacting the quality of healthcare – an issue that affects all Americans.
Winner – The Business Journal of Milwaukee; A Special Report on the Flight of Banks
Sari Lesk and her colleagues expertly embody the mission of journalism with their series on banking consolidation in southeast Wisconsin. By tackling America’s long history of economic discrimination, the series contributes to a critical national conversation; but by illustrating the problem through the eyes of local entrepreneurs, it empowers its readers to learn and act. It exemplifies a reporter knowing her audience and nailing the execution – a skill growing rarer in a news climate ever more hostile to local journalism. Lesk’s inclusion of a resource guide for entrepreneurs only underscores her grasp of her own mission. With compelling graphics, powerful photos and masterful, accessible writing, every element of the series resonated with judges.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of The Center for Public Integrity and Transmitter Media; The Wealth Vortex
The Center for Investigative Reporting and Transmitter Media produced compelling podcasts and articles about how Black businesswoman ReShonda Young faced many obstacles in accessing capital in her deeply segregated hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins artfully shows Young’s determination to overcome a widening wealth gap and create her own Black-owned bank. The storytelling is masterful and the use of data to illustrate economic disparities greatly enhances the package. This entry is powerful and raises profound questions about our society.
Honorable Mention – Mother Jones; Smash and Grab Economy
Hannah Levintova’s article chronicling Brooklyn apartment residents fighting a private equity firm was a well-reported story that’s deftly written from start to finish. She connected the dots from this happening to other New York apartment residents all the way to a school board in Texas that was investing with this private equity firm. The author had a nice balance between telling the story of the lives impacted and taking us through private equity’s playbook.
Best Range of Work
Winner – The New York Times; Ben Casselman
Ben has perhaps the best grasp on economic indicators among anyone covering them in the U.S. today. The breadth of work we judged is a testament to his storytelling abilities. He explains complex business concepts clearly – no easy task – and with authority.
Medium and Small divisions
Winner – Crain’s New York Business; Aaron Elstein
These stories were compelling because they were extremely well reported. That combination may seem simple until you try to do it. From start to finish, these stories are full of detail, context, and character.
Honorable Mention – St. Louis Business Journal; Nathan Rubbelke
This entry has an impressive sweep of subjects from the finances of colleges to the fallout from name, image and likeness contracts. But most impressive was his profile of an entrepreneur without arms, a compelling character shedding light on the underreported story of the employment prospects (or lack thereof) for people with disabilities. The data viz elements of the venture capital story were a nice addition.
Honorable Mention – Capital & Main; Robin Urevich
Once again, a strong mix of stories. The public service and accountability angle of the responsible banking law story particularly boosted this entry. So did the well-done story on East Los Angeles, giving all the context of past inequities as well as what was happening today.
Winner – The New York Times; The “Zero Covid” Charade
Li Yuan writes in this collection of columns with clarity and candor for The New York Times about mainland China’s COVID containment policies. In “China’s ‘Zero Covid’ Mess Proves Autocracy Hurts Everyone,” she puts the containment policy in a historical context and shows how China’s government has politicized the disease. Rich details like a fire in the mountains and swabbing fishermen’s throats populate “China’s Public Puts on a Show of Zero Covid for an Audience of One,” underscoring the extremes to which the government was going to keep the virus in check, and how compliant, many people were with these restrictions.
Li leverages a deep knowledge of Chinese history and culture to provide audiences outside China with insight into the policies and why they persisted — and ultimately, why they were fated to end.
Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The Economy’s Rising Role in the New Cold War
Greg Ip tackled an ambitious topic — the economy’s rising role in the new Cold War — with solid writing and reporting, illuminating the complex web that is the relationship between the U.S. and China.
Winner – Detroit News; The intersection of business and policy
Chad Livengood illuminates the often opaque relationship between government and business. His column helps Detroit News readers understand how the state’s economic engine — the automotive industry — wields political power. He elevates the voice of workers when the government leaves them behind. His lively commentary and analysis give a political context to economics and an economic context to politics.
Honorable Mention – The Boston Globe; Shirley Leung columns
Shirley Leung brings challenging issues to life for Boston Globe readers through people who are at the heart of the struggle — whether it’s a woman who must travel out of state to get an abortion, working-class commuters who spend as much time getting to their jobs as they spend doing them or female entrepreneurs who need a boost from other women to fund their businesses.
Winner – The Real Deal; How to actually solve the housing crisis in New York
Erik Engquist’s artfully phrased, persuasively argued work on New York City’s housing crisis, cutting through the political noise and drawing on deep experience to advocate for practical solutions.
Honorable Mention – IEEE Spectrum; The Bionic-Hand Arms Race
Britt Young’s work employs a rare combination of personal experience, profound subject-area knowledge, factual analysis and storytelling prowess to enlighten readers about the pitfalls and promise of artificial-limb technology – supported by elegant and effective illustration.
Winner – The Wall Street Journal; Capital Assets
Superior reporting and clear, enlightening data analytics made “Capital Assets” a stand-out in this category. The Wall Street Journal built and analyzed a database of more than 31,000 financial disclosure forms filed by senior federal officials, along with lobbying reports and key decisions by agencies. The resulting project shows how government officials cash in on their power in painstaking detail. It ranks among the best in journalism this year.
Winner – ProPublica; Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Business
“Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Business” is an audacious story marring technical savvy with journalistic resourcefulness to answer big, important questions about the tech giant’s core revenue engine, including what its tentacles mean for competitors and society. The reporters here wrote code, built a tool, and analyzed millions of websites, uncovering hidden instances of fraud, disinformation and piracy. This report remains a crucial moment as an alert to journalists for further work and a caution to voters as the nation heads into another presidential campaign season.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer; The Charlotte Observer Data Package
An impressive team effort to identify secretive corporate landlords who buy and manage thousands of single-family homes to maximize profit, understand their strategy, and show how such faceless buyers have upended one of the traditional paths for working people to create wealth. It also surfaces what may well be a still mushrooming economic force that’s attenuating the social fabric of neighborhoods by turning stable communities into transient populations at a time when societal rifts have already been growing.
Winner – A collaboration of The Markup, Associated Press and Outlier Media; Still Loading
In an awe-inspiring body of investigative work, TheMarkup, with the Associated Press, has exposed a toxic legacy of redlining perpetuating suffering in historically disinvested communities nationwide. By demonstrating how large Internet providers charge people from poorer areas the same as their wealthy neighbors for shoddy connectivity, the journalists on this project have rendered a genuine public service. They’ve demonstrated that redlining’s long-lasting impact comes not only with lower property values, less safety, and environmental health but also with Internet connections too weak to allow students to participate in remote classrooms successfully – a critical failing, especially during the pandemic – but also insufficient to permit adults to hold well-paying jobs that require robust connectivity. Especially impressive is the comprehensive way the data journalists published the underpinning of their research and made that information available to other journalists nationwide, enabling them to report on how these disparities impact different communities. The judges hope this team stays on this critical issue, given that it’s not going away soon. It’s not an exaggeration to call this project a tour de force and this year’s winner.
Honorable Mention – STAT; A data-driven investigation into a secretive program benefiting medical device makers
Working with imperfect information and a recalcitrant governmental body in the FDA, Stat News has produced a significant investigation that has revealed severe failings in the FDA’s program to fast-track questionable medical devices. Were it not for the team’s reporting, the FDA would not have publicized vital information on the agenda. Given the track record of many suspect medical devices, the revelations in this project are essential for any person or group seeking to safeguard patient health. The judges congratulate Stat News on this impressive and impactful project.
Winner – The New York Times; How Globalization is Changing
Traversing America to reveal the piercing effects of the pandemic and soaring inflation on workers and small business owners due to globalization, Peter S. Goodman’s powerful reporting turns policy into the personal. The result is a magnificent explanation of the way economies work and sometimes don’t.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Inflation Bites
This imaginative series mixes a personalized inflation formula, stimulating economic reporting and an entertaining, educational podcast from The Daily to show how inflation affects Americans very differently depending on their spending habits and wealth.
Winner –Marketplace; The Economic View from Buffalo
Using a data-forward approach, Marketplace took its audience inside an American city to tell richly layered stories focused on economics, politics, business, and the human element. The detailed strategy went beyond the cliché to unwind in key detail about how the modern American economy is working – and not working – for so many Americans.
Honorable Mention – Barron’s; Labor Market Woes
Barron’s impressive series put names and faces to the sea change in employment in the U.S. triggered in part by the pandemic. By showing how significant labor shortages may not be temporary, even as some workers consider rejoining the workforce, Barron’s provides nuance to a topic that often prompts wild generalizations.
Winner – PolitiFact; PolitiFact on Economics
The PolitiFact submission scrutinizes assertions that may feel right but are either incomplete or skip over vital context. Consistent fact-checking on economic mistruths, even if not read broadly by the general public, helps sort through sometimes arcane policy debates. These contributions couldn’t be more worthy in a world that screams headlines about recession, inflation, and interests.
Winner – Bloomberg Green; Big Plastic series
A comprehensive and damning portrait of the “takeaway, throwaway culture” that the judges thought best reflected all three elements of the category. From creative use of digital tracking for trash; deeply reported details on key characters; energetic legwork from UK to Poland to Turkey to Ghana; and powerful multimedia (video, graphics and drone photography) — the narratives pulled back the feel-good veil on the West’s “out of sight, out of mind” faith in recycling and established as great journalism does a very different and very real problem right under our nose that is only getting worse.
Honorable Mention – The Financial Times; The Climate Game
A fascinating and engaging combination of research, education and game theory that the judges thought drew the audience inside a vital subject in a brand-new way. Gamifying a test of “climate solutions” by putting the game player in the global driver’s seat worked brilliantly to demonstrate how constantly changing global dynamics in politics, energy, tech, trade, migration and other areas are playing out against a shrinking timeline to avoid the worst man-made disaster in history. The sidebars complemented the game as a garland of facts and common sense to cement the best plays in the game.
Honorable Mention – CNBC; ExxonMobil at the Crossroads
David Faber did a fine job anchoring a useful survey of a corporate colossus often seen as at the center of the world climate crisis. Evidence of Exxon’s lead role in climate disinformation and of the mixed bargain on countries from Big Oil’s embrace were not downplayed. Rising voices of critics in Congress and on its board were heard. But the company staff’s party line arguments — e.g. faith in tech to create a “both-and,” not “either-or” future — as well as management’s unshakeable tie to Wall Street’s short-term profit needs underscored why not just Exxon but the world is stuck at a crossroads on facing up to the climate crisis.
Winner – The Boston Globe; Whales are dying. Ropes from lobster traps are partly to blame. That’s put lobsters, and the people who catch them, in the crosshairs of conservation groups.
From a crowded field, the judges were unanimous that this feature stood head and shoulders above the rest. The writing was elegant, the storytelling was superb and the piece wove a nuanced tale with depth and vigor. There was no question in our minds that this was a special piece well-deserving of its honors.
Honorable Mention – The Arizona Republic; Arizona water woes
Honorable mentions go to two pieces in the finest tradition of investigative newspaper reporting, both of which shone a light on serious problems that would neither be seen nor understood by the public without the papers’ efforts. The judges were impressed with the depth of work involved and the granular detail the reporters were able to capture in an approachable way.
Honorable Mention – The Oregonian; Wind Bust
Honorable mentions go to two pieces in the finest tradition of investigative newspaper reporting, both of which shone a light on serious problems that would neither be seen nor understood by the public without the papers’ efforts. The judges were impressed with the depth of work involved and the granular detail the reporters were able to capture in an approachable way.
Winner – A collaboration of Columbia Journalism Investigations, The Center for Public Integrity and Type Investigations; Harm’s Way
This entry stood out among a strong field of entries for its scope and its depth. The reporting team showed the scale of climate change’s impact and the harsh impacts already starting to take place on families — especially families of color — who live in areas that are quickly becoming uninhabitable. As the entry demonstrated, the government bureaucracy is not prepared at all for the deluge of people who will need assistance to uproot their lives and relocate. The entry delivered fresh insights and powerful first-hand accounts.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Crain’s Detroit Business and Crain’s Chicago Business; A safer haven? How the Midwest can be a refuge amid climate change – if we prepare
This entry really stood out for its unique take on the climate migration crisis and, especially, for walking readers through solutions of how to prepare for a wave of likely climate “refugees” to the Midwest in the years and decades to come. The writing was smart and the framing was excellent.
Honorable Mention – Rest of World; The dirty road to clean energy: How China’s electric vehicle boom is ravaging the environment
This entry stood out for bringing to life the harsh realities of mining nickel in Indonesia for electric vehicles. The reporter’s first-hand accounts of the pollution and the broken promises to the local population are harrowing and stick with the reader long after the story is over.
Winner – Insider; Warehouse Nation
Insider’s “Warehouse Nation” offers a data-rich, engaging examination of the impact of warehouse work on blue-collar employees, incorporating voices of laborers seldom heard from in business reporting. Moreover, the eleven-part series details how warehouse proliferation has created boomtowns out of slow-growth counties and provided opportunities for refugees and others seeking an economic toehold in America while also powerfully documenting the negative consequences: an epidemic of workplace injuries. Accompanied by compelling artwork, photography, videos and graphics, “Warehouse Nation,” exhibited explanatory journalism at its highest levels.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Green; Carbon Accounting Tricks
With its series “Carbon Accounting Tricks,” Bloomberg explained how some of the world’s biggest and best-known companies can claim to change in ways that appear positive for the environment and to meet carbon-neutrality goals while making few actual changes. Bloomberg reporters dove deep into public data for carbon offsets, the practice of paying others to remove an equivalent amount of carbon from what their actions produce. In clear terms, with easily recognizable examples to readers and graphics that illustrate scale, this series explained how the carbon offset process has created outcomes that are the opposite of their intent. The series is a wonderful example of how an extraordinarily complex topic can be made understandable.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; A Risky Wager
Sports betting is rapidly becoming a fully regulated industry, and The New York Times has pulled back the curtain on the unsavory process. “A Risky Wager” is a disturbing and detailed deep dive into how the players are advancing their interests as they attempt to groom the next generation of gamblers. With these features, the Times combines extensive reporting with engaging storytelling to lay bare an undertaking that warrants close public scrutiny. With lawmakers now reconsidering certain measures, the Times demonstrates how strong journalism can have an impact.
Winner – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Landlord & The Tenant
This narrative weaving the lives of two people stood out in a very high-quality category for both its pure storytelling over nearly 40 years and its ability to cut to the heart of the rental crisis for low-income people in many cities. The story, on its face, covers issues of the human struggles of greed and generational poverty — but returns to the landlord-tenant relationship as a touchstone, making it a clear top choice.
Honorable Mention – ProPublica; The Hidden Fees Making Your Bananas, and Everything Else, Cost More
We’ve all followed the supply chain crisis and the backup at ports. This story takes a step beyond to put the reader in the dispatch center, in the loading yard, and in the shipper’s office to bring an unheralded, seemingly small aspect of the bottleneck to life in a sweeping way that relates to any of us who buy imported goods.
Winner – A collaboration of The Center for Public Integrity and ICT; Unequal Burden
The breadth of reporting was impressive. The writing was clear and well-organized. Good data supported the narrative, including interactive graphics.
Honorable Mention – Grist; Parched: How drought is reshaping the American West
The subject matter and the treatment were compelling and it also feels like a topic that will become more important over time.
Honorable Mention – Mother Jones; Smash and Grab Economy
Timely and insightful. There seemed to be real substance in the narrative and outlining the history of private equity.
Winner – A collaboration of ProPublica and The New Yorker; The Hospice Hustle
Hospice offers a masterclass in journalism as it dissects an industry built on death. Kofman weaves together investigative reporting with vivid characters, stunning scenes, and all the rest of the narrative elements that make for top-tier feature storytelling. I was particularly impressed by Kofman’s ability to secure insider sources who gave a behind-the-scenes perspective of the secretive industry and the candid, often painful accounts of families who were lost in the hospice system.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Businessweek; Larry Ellison’s Lanai Isn’t for You—or the People Who Live There
Casual tech observers may have been aware that in 2012, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison bought 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. But it wasn’t until I read Sophie Alexander’s “Larry Ellison’s Lanai Isn’t for You—or the People Who Live There” that I fully understood what that meant on a practical level, and how that changed and upended the lives of native residents. Deeply reported, nuanced, and expansive, Alexander’s story offers the definitive account of Ellison’s impact on Lanai. Furthermore, in an era of intense wealth disparity, “Larry Ellison’s Lanai Isn’t for You—or the People Who Live There” is a well-executed and perfectly timed parable about what happens with the rich own practically everything.
Honorable Mention – The Financial Times; Inside Peloton’s epic run of bungled calls and bad luck
While COVID-19 ravaged the global population, tech’s biggest companies cashed in: Facebook’s usage soared; Amazon’s profits exploded by 220% in the first year of the pandemic. Peloton was among the tech companies that found themselves perfectly poised to seize the moment: gyms were closed, and exercise became an at-home activity. As chronicled in Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Patrick McGee’s “Inside Peloton’s epic run of bungled calls and bad luck,” Peloton rose to dizzying heights before suddenly crashing back down. Featuring impressive sources and insider accounts, I found this to be an expertly done feature that shed new light on a company that had captured the global zeitgeist — only to completely fail to notice the ground shifting beneath it.
Winner – Wired; ‘I’m the Operator’: The Aftermath of a Self-Driving Tragedy
This engaging feature stood out in a competitive field of entries because it provided fresh insight into a widely covered news event: A self-driving Uber’s 2018 killing of a pedestrian. Though many articles were published on the death, the story of the car’s operator was largely a side note. Reporter Lauren Smiley centered her reporting around that operator, Rafaela Vasquez, and used an extensive, exclusive interview to paint a portrait of an individual who had embraced the opportunities the fast-moving tech industry offered before she became tripped up by its shortcomings.
Honorable Mention – Fortune Magazine; The Life and Death of Kent Taylor
This was a fascinating look at Texas Roadhouse, a tight-knit company that experienced tremendous growth before struggling (and succeeding) through the adversity of COVID and its challenges. Soon after, it found itself forced to come to grips with the surprising ordeal of iconoclastic founder Kent Taylor’s death. Beth Kowitt did an outstanding job of telling the story with empathy while carefully reporting what ailed Taylor, how his life tragically ended and the grief it caused for family members and the company at large.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of E&E News and POLITICO; Will Electric Vehicles Kill the Gas Station?
This feature delivered a readable, understandable and fact-packed explanation of a business transition that will affect millions of people in some way.
Winner – A collaboration of The Markup and The Verge; Working for an Algorithm
Working for an Algorithm is an investigative piece that tells a compelling data story through the harrowing experiences of Uber drivers. Reporter Dara Kerr followed a tip that Uber wasn’t cooperating with police after their drivers had been attacked. The Markup team built a database of carjackings to connect the dots, leading to more stories about how cooperation with police could have saved future attacks by repeat offenders. This was a well-researched, well-edited piece with gripping details.
Honorable Mention – Capital & Main; No Way to Live
Capital and Main’s Ethan Ward and Barbara Davidson’s series puts a face on workers who are priced out of the stratospheric rental market in Southern California. This is a terrifying collection of stories about the invisible “unhoused” who scramble to making nightly living. Informative, well-sourced and timely.
Honorable Mention – Portland Business Journal; The Blowup at BALA Footwear
Portland Business Journal’s Elizabeth Hayes tells a tale of intrigue and influence at BALA Footwear, an Oregon company that spiraled down after initial success. The story details the saga of a company that specialized in shoes for nurses that owed much of its early success to a 33-year-old nurse-turned-Instagram influencer, Ebi Porbeni. The company’s fortunes changed when Porbenia fell out with BALA’s founders. This behind-the-scenes look shows how social media can make or break a company. Strong source development and unparalleled access made this a raw story with a twist.
Winner – FedScoop; FedScoop: leading Washington’s tech policy conversations
This entry was an excellent example of scrappy journalism effort that serves its audience well. It provided a series of scoops that no doubt helped their very specific niche audience. Nice work.
Winner – Bloomberg
Bloomberg submitted an outstanding, well-written package of spot news and investigative reporting. Particularly impressive is the expose of the rapidly growing tele-healthcare provider Cerebral, which took advantage of a loosening of government restrictions during the COVID epidemic. Bloomberg documents how Cerebral prescribed controlled substances, including Aderall, without proper diagnosis and care to tens of thousands of patients. The story led to the ouster of Cerebral’s chief executive, a halt in prescriptions and a regulatory crackdown.
Bloomberg also broke important news and clearly explained how massive trades by a Chinese tycoon caused an unprecedented disruption of the world nickel market and the suspension of nickel trading on the London Metals Exchange, Finally, Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine wrote a clear and exhaustive guide to the history and inside workings of the opaque crypto market.
Winner – Nikkei Asia
Nikkei Asia is our choice for the winner of this category. The story on the semiconductor industry was incredibly informative, truly breaking down the issues of a very technical industry and explaining complex problems in an extremely detailed and comprehensive way. The story they did on the scamming culture was also incredibly insightful and expansive, as it detailed an extremely tangled set of problems, and how difficult it can be to solve these problems, along with the current efforts being made to help recover people who have been caught and forced to scam others.
The Gwadar is a fascinating story explaining China’s involvement in the Gwadar Port and how locals have been shoved aside for projects the Chinese government has started, in some cases, but not completed. It has maps and satellite imagery that make it a compelling and understandable read. The entire package is very thorough, with graphics and formatting designed to help people understand the stories better, researched to the hilt and presented in a way that guides people through a variety of layered topics.
Winner – Crain’s New York Business
The judges unanimously agreed that Crain’s New York Business produced excellent work across a diverse range of stories that told unique tales about money and New York City. The depth of reporting was a cut above, as were the presentation and storytelling. In a competitive field, Crain’s New York stood out.
Honorable Mention – St. Louis Business Journal
The St. Louis Business Journal impressed the panel with its wide range of coverage, the depth of its reporting and the excellence of its storytelling. The publication knows its town well and was able to bring the multi-faceted personality of St. Louis’s business community to its readers.
Winner – The New York Times; Congressional Stock Trading
The award goes to the New York Times for its report on congressional stock trading. It is a topic of great importance, with deep investigative reporting, strong graphics and clear and compelling writing. It’s journalism doing what it’s meant to do: Keeping an eye on how our elected officials act.
Honorable Mention – The Financial Times; The Texas two-step
The honorable mention goes to the Financial Times for its report on how private companies are misusing a Texas law to shield themselves from legal liabilities. The best journalism should lead to meaningful change. In pulling back the curtain on a practice allowing companies to dodge legal liabilities, this FT investigation does just that.
Winner – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Cash Not Care
A sad but necessary investigation into a state program meant to reduce infant mortality in Milwaukee that brought to light shady providers, lax oversight, and eventually political and policy action. The Journal-Sentinel’s three-person team combined knocking on doors to vacant offices, records requests and digital reporting of new providers bragging about their profits, including pictures of stacks of cash on Facebook. The JS found a sudden surge in new companies operating prenatal care coordination services that were big on billing and low on providing service under a new state policy aimed at reducing infant mortality, particularly in Milwaukee. The series eventually pushed state and local lawmakers to ask questions and the state health department to increase its oversight of the prenatal care coordination program that has not reduced infant mortality in Wisconsin. A stellar example of local journalism’s impact.
Winner – Honolulu Civil Beat; Red Hill
Compelling source material and reporting in this investigative series into an ongoing water contamination crisis in the Pearl Harbor area. Comes at the situation from a couple of different angles – original footage of the leak; problematic, long-standing infrastructure issues revealed in documents obtained via FOIA; and the implications for the Hawaii-military relationship going forward.
Spectacular use of leaked video and other information to inform the public about a shocking hazard. Compelling, exclusive work on the subject of urgent importance to public health. Can’t get much better than that.
Honorable Mention – FedScoop; Electronic health record failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Impressive and dogged reporting on a matter of extreme importance to the health and welfare of American military veterans. This reporting had an impact, providing fodder for policymakers looking to hold the vendor to account for the disastrous performance of this electronic health records system.
This is a comprehensive series of reports holding accountable the vendor for the VA’s electronic health records system. In an example of activist journalism, the reporter chronicles systemic failures and the material impact that bad tech has had on the lives of American military vets.
Winner – Bloomberg News; Why Pharma Can’t Crack Alzheimer’s or ALS
Bloomberg’s coverage of the biotech industry’s efforts to treat Alzheimer’s and ALS, led by writer Robert Langreth, underscored the huge stakes in these initiatives — for investors and executives at these companies but more importantly for the patients and their families who seem to be walking deeper into living nightmares. The science behind these treatments, including what makes them so uncertain, is laid out in clear and concise detail. But so are the hopes, tribulations and despair of so many people waiting, perhaps in vain, for some sort of effective solution. And the analysis that showed the racial disparity in Alzheimer’s trials was truly eye-opening. It’s hard not to cry while reading these patients’ struggles and stories.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Profits Over Patients
The New York Times’ “Profits Over Patients” series brings important scrutiny to the so-called nonprofit healthcare provider industry. Kudos to NYT reporters Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Katie Thomas and Sarah Kliff for exposing the ways these billion-dollar conglomerates are abandoning their roots in the pursuit of relentless revenue growth. Their reporting was exhaustive and the writing was compelling at every turn. The story of how one system hollowed out an urban hospital in Richmond, Va., that largely cared for lower-income patients, while putting more resources into wealthier communities was particularly chilling. It’s not surprising that these articles sparked calls for reforms and investigations.
Winner – The Arizona Republic; Blood and Money
The top story is from the Arizona Republic titled “Blood & Money.” It is a great investigation about some really shady characters who have set up medical clinics that do surgeries on extremities, particularly legs. They have left a trail of botched operations that resulted in amputations as well as deaths and potential Medicare fraud that is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice, thanks in part to this great reporting and writing by Andrew Ford. This story required lots of digging into lawsuits filed by victimized patients and some terrific reporting including extended interviews with the main protagonist, a doctor named Scott Brannan whose history includes a prison term, drug abuse and a medical degree from a Central American school that went out of business just as he received his diploma.
Honorable Mention – MarketWatch; You will not believe what I’ve just found
“You will not believe what I’ve just found,” by Jaimy Lee of Marketwatch is also an investigation as well as a health public policy story about the spread of misinformation during the pandemic about the efficacy of Ivermectin, the veterinary anti-parasite medicine that was touted in some quarters as effective against Covid. This story shows how detective work by a university graduate student discovered how the vast web of misinformation and fake studies spread through academic research about Ivermectin. This story should be studied by other reporters who might be covering how questionable medical treatments somehow gain traction.
Honorable Mention – ProPublica; The COVID Testing Company That Missed 96% of Cases
“The COVID Testing Company That Missed 96% of the Cases,” by Anjeanette Damon from Pro Publica. An important look at a significant case of profiteering during the pandemic by a politically well-connected company in Nevada that got government contracts for a COVID testing regime that failed to deliver accurate test results almost all of the time in Nevada.
Winner – Inside Climate News; Something in the Water
In “Something in the Water,” Liza Gross and Anne Marshall-Chalmers dig into the detrimental social and health consequences of contaminated ground and show readers an uncomfortable truth. Their thoughtful, powerful series helped spur legislation, which California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last year, establishing a buffer zone between new oil and gas wells and residential areas. More than 2.7 million Californians live within the 3,200 feet buffer zone in California, and 70% of them are people of color.
Honorable Mention – STAT; How a D.C. power couple used an ALS diagnosis to create a political juggernaut
Lev Facher’s beautifully written “How a D.C. power couple used an ALS diagnosis to create a political juggernaut” is a story you simply can’t put down. It’s powerful, tragic, human and awareness-raising in telling the story of how a fatal diagnosis led to a big, successful health policy push.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Capital & Main and USA Today; Undermined
Eli Cahan’s reporting points a spotlight on an important story, shedding light on injustices in the Navajo Nation and explaining the shocking ways that exposure to uranium mining made the community more vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winner – The Washington Post; Interactive tech reporting to help readers spend less
This Washington Post entry was practical and delightfully executed. At a time when several publications focused on ways for readers to measure soaring inflation, the project focused on empowering them with tools to cut their household spending.
The clear consumer focus answered two frequently asked questions – and was SEO friendly: Should I replace my phone and is Amazon Prime worth it? Some quiz presentations can get overly long. These weren’t. They were short, user-friendly, and to the point, and the summaries were informative and presented good options to reduce costs.
Honorable Mention – The Financial Times; FT news games
When the judges looked at the entries in the innovation category, they looked for submissions that moved beyond traditional narrative journalism. This Financial Times’ game approach clearly pushed the boundaries of traditional journalism to illustrate two important global trends. By taking an active part in the decisions, the lessons are etched deeper into the user’s memory than if they had simply read an article on the topic. Although they required a significant time commitment, the judges found them to be engaging and felt rewarded by the journey.
Winner – The Wall Street Journal; Putin’s Power
The judges found the WSJ Putin’s Power stories show considerable enterprise work, with reporters accessing secret documents and speaking to sources to trace the web of oligarchic ownership in Russia and beyond. The Journal used an example of one of the oligarchs, Alisher Usmanov, to illustrate how Putin’s allies manage to hold on to money and power. One of the stories provides not only color about Putin’s girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, but also a tracking of her jobs and fortunes, seemingly as a result of her ties to Putin. The stories also shine a light on media propaganda in Russia, serving up details about, for instance, Putin’s first deputy chief of staff holding meetings every Thursday with editors-in-chief of Russia’s biggest TV channels to instruct them on messages to be aired. Overall, these engaging stories are important in helping readers understand how Putin wields his power amid his invasion of Ukraine. These pieces provide a vivid picture of the structure of Putin’s power and money.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; Russian Sanctions – Flaws, Pitfalls and Challenges
This package of memorable stories featured a richly reported article about how Russia was using ships to launder grain stolen from occupied Ukraine that featured detailed reporting about at-sea ship transfers and included a motion graphic backed by satellite photography. Bloomberg speaks to a sanctioned oligarch about inconsistencies of sanctions, mixed in with some self-serving statements but balanced by comments from others. This series paints a picture of a Russian economy that so far has been touched but not badly bruised by the sanctions as it benefits from surging commodity revenues.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The Washington Post; The Ericsson List
This entry offered memorable reporting describing how a multinational telecommunications company was attempting to deal with a highly violent terrorist group and how the firm paid to smuggle equipment into ISIS areas. One of the pieces showed Ericsson’s disregard for its staff when it ordered an Ericsson Iraqi subcontractor worker to deliver a letter to ISIS to allow it to operate in an Iraqi city. The series contained an eye-popping array of details about how telecom titan Ericsson made tens of millions of dollars in suspicious payments in Iraq. The investigation reveals financing of slush funds, trips abroad for defense officials and pay-offs to local corporate executives.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Green; Big Plastic World
These stories pull back the curtain on a supposedly noble instinct – to recycle – and tell you that in the end, your best intentions are burning in a trash pile in Bangkok. These articles reveal deep flaws in the global waste disposal supply chain and how the global South bears the brunt of our modern consumer society. It offers tremendous human impact and detail — the resident next to the recycling center who has empty bird cages in his home due to the noxious fumes. One memorable detail involved Bloomberg Green reporters finding a plastic Amazon envelope from Sloatsburg, N.Y. in an Indian disposal center; the journalists then interviewed the woman who thought she had recycled it. This entry had excellent video and graphics.
Winner – Nikkei Asia; Asia’s post-pandemic scamdemic
A gripping story, told with empathy. The reader immediately sees the heartlessness of the scammers and the two sets of victims: unwitting teens enslaved and forced to fleece others, and the prey that hand over their money. You also learn quite vividly how these scammers ruin lives. Good context is woven throughout about how the pandemic has only worsened incidences of scamming. Impressive access to sources. A story with global implications, and also actionable to readers by raising awareness.
Winner – Honolulu Civil Beat; Lethal Legacy
Honolulu Civil Beat’s series on the problem of unexploded WW2 ordnance in the Solomon Islands is our top choice in the category by a large margin. At a time when inequities suffered across the global south matter more than ever, this work has both human and economic significance. Its insights into power and money dynamics make it a must-read for anyone with business or economic interests in the region. Well-written and photographed, the series is grounded in deep on-scene reporting, in a remote location by any measure. This brings great force and immediacy to the work, as the implications for all concerned — families and victims, advocates and authorities — come to life, painfully and powerfully, on the page.
Winner – A collaboration of Kaiser Health News, NPR and CBS News; Diagnosis Debt
The investigative series focused on how the U.S. healthcare system goes to extremes to be paid by patients who often owe staggering amounts of money for outstanding bills. All three stories put faces and names of individuals who are struggling to address the basic human need for health care. Several changes came about from the series. The findings were cited prominently in a November ballot initiative in Arizona to expand patient protections, and federal regulators asked the publication’s subjects for their public testimony about nursing homes that sued friends and families of residents and then advanced an investigation. Also, one doctor’s company paid the debts of more than 85,000 individuals in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; Uncontrolled Substances
This series focused on the questionable practices of telehealth startups, which shot to lofty valuations by aggressively prescribing powerful drugs without sufficient screening of patients. The stories led the Department of Justice to launch an investigation of Cerebral and Done Global. What’s more, Cerebral fired its CEO, major pharmacies stopped filling prescriptions by the companies, and social-media platforms pulled ads for violating federal regulations.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; The Post-Roe Information Crisis
This investigation found that when users searched online for abortion clinics, both Google and Snapchat often directed them to organizations that seek to persuade women not to get abortions. As a result of this exposé of misinformation, lawmakers put pressure on Google, and both companies changed some of their practices.
Honorable Mention – Reuters; Crypto Giant Binance
Reporters Tom Wilson and Angus Berwick have opened up one of the biggest black boxes of the cryptocurrency industry: Binance. The no. 1 crypto exchange by volume had good reasons to keep its inner workings under wraps: Wilson and Berwick’s reporting showed how Binance and other exchanges for years avoided verifying customers’ identities, allowing criminals—from a prolific seller of sexual abuse videos to North Korean hackers—to receive cryptocurrency payments or launder billions of dollars. Even after the company in 2021 stopped letting people open accounts without ID, Iranian customers still traded more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, flouting international sanctions rules. The reporting brought transparency to the seediest parts of crypto, ensuring that regulatory scrutiny of Binance and its ilk is just beginning.
Winner – ProPublica; Toxic Burden: How American Chemical Regulations Failed the Public
In the wake of a proposed EPA ban on asbestos, ProPublica reporters Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi sought to examine the carcinogen’s impact on workers’ health at the two companies the U.S. still allows to use it. For two months, they made dozens of unsuccessful attempts to contact workers, until they found a unique opportunity: A plant in Niagara Falls closed, and they convinced 18 former employees to share their stories. McGrory and Bedi’s detailed reporting has raised troubling questions about OSHA’s lax supervision of the plants and has led to renewed calls for Congress to join the dozens of other countries that ban asbestos. In a category filled with extremely strong entries, the judges were particularly impressed by the doggedness of the reporting effort, the simple but effective visuals that detail asbestos’ impact on the human body, and the unforgettable stories of the plant workers.
Honorable Mention – BuzzFeed News; Profit, Pain, and Private Equity
A deeply reported and well-told story by four reporters exposed significant problems in the takeover of BrightSpring Health Services, a residential home provider, by private-equity titan KKR. The story showed how KKR’s management led to substantial staff exits and placed at-risk patients in peril. As a result of the story, a planned initial public offering to raise $800 million was shelved and the firm’s practices came under scrutiny from a group of high-profile senators.
Honorable Mention – Forbes.com; TikTok’s China Problem
Emily Baker-White’s reporting has repeatedly lifted the veil on one of the enduring mysteries in the tech industry: TikTok’s relationship with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. Her reporting has intensified scrutiny of TikTok in Washington and among state lawmakers across the country, many of whom are now calling for a ban of the popular app.
Winner – IEEE Spectrum; What Happens When a Bionic Body Part Becomes Obsolete?
The judges loved the novelty of this topic and its profound implications at a time of rapid medical innovation. The reporters did an excellent job finding people who had retinal implants and were stuck with the consequences when the company that invented the product, Second Sight, cratered. The writing was superb and explained the technical aspects of the science behind retinal implants clearly for a general audience.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of The Markup and STAT; Pixel Hunt
This comprehensive examination of an ad-tracking tool used by healthcare and financial websites is a superb example of journalism that holds companies accountable. The Markup tested the websites of the top 100 hospitals in the US and found that a third of them used the tracker, called a Meta Pixel, which delivers information about patients’ sensitive medical information to Facebook. Confronted by The Markup, some of the hospitals reversed course, but others ignored their inquiries. The Markup conducted similar investigations of telehealth companies and tax preparation websites with similarly startling results.
Honorable Mention – Quartz; Toxic Fuel
“Toxic Fuel” was a deeply reported series that explained why leaded aviation fuel has remained in use years after it was taken off America’s roadways. Focused on the risks that leaded gas poses to communities near airports, the story also introduced the reader to an inventor who is working on an alternative fuel for small aircraft. The full package was impressive, including the maps showing the areas surrounding the top lead-emitting airports.
Winner – The Wall Street Journal; The FTX Crash
Great reporting, with enterprise journalism, sharp analysis, and compelling narrative. The Journal provided exceptional, in-depth reporting on how disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried conned sophisticated investors and pitted regulators against each other to his advantage.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Strategies
This column is simultaneously sharp and approachable, explaining without condescending, and bringing to bear knowledge of distant and recent history, current market factors, and more.
Winner – Globe and Mail; Other people’s money, everyone’s problem
Well-reported and well-written, this is an impressive investigative reporting piece that exposes an under-reported trend driving the Canadian housing crisis. It goes beyond simple supply/demand explanations and looks past the easy target of blaming foreign investors. It’s an investment story with true consumer implications, not just for the wealthy but everyday renters. It’s actionable with the possibility of sparking greater regulatory oversight. Explanatory journalism is woven with storytelling in a way that makes the story highly readable.
Winner – Coinage; Six Days in May: The Unmaking of a Crypto King
Coinage’s in-depth take on the meltdown at Terra and the fall from grace of its wunderkind founder, Do Kwan, was an engaging tale of hubris and comeuppance. The reporter related the saga in clear language that is not common in coverage of the crypto world, bringing an appropriate skepticism to bear. The story rightly provides context about how Kwan’s downfall was a catalyst for the subsequent demise of other high-profile crypto operations. A wonderful postmortem on one of the biggest scandals in a crypto realm chock full of them.
Winner – The New York Times; Tucker Carlson’s America
This exhaustive analysis of episodes did a great job illustrating the changing nature of Tucker Carlson’s program and its potential impact on consistent viewers. The inventive use of multimedia, the interactive storytelling backed by solid reporting and the scale of the data set — a detailed analysis of 1,150 episodes — is impressive. The artful narrative enables readers to navigate what could otherwise be an overwhelming amount of information. Add to that the digital presentation and you’ve got a series of memorable stories with a clear focus on the business of media and its larger impacts.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; The Shady Side of Podcasting
This series of stories illustrated the importance of source depth. What could have been a surface report on the shady elements of a payola model in podcasting instead offered on-the-record examples of shows that charged on-air guests to appear. It also exposed how a group of podcasters figured out how to get rich from a demand for “white noise.” The judges kept coming back to this series’ clear writing and concise storytelling in a category replete with strong and powerful narratives.
Winner – ProPublica; Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Business
The ProPublica series had real-world results that changed Google’s relationship to various vendors and resulted in a number of bogus advertisers, users and businesses being cut off. ProPublica shines a light on a dark corner of Google and provides a rare and thorough glimpse inside its ad business with surprising insights into how the media behemoth retains its dominance.
Honorable Mention – Barron’s; The Streaming Wars
As Honorable Mention, the Barron’s story provides deep reporting on a topic that has largely been misunderstood by both investors and the general public. Great overview and talking points for the present and future of the streaming industry.
Winner – A collaboration of The Markup, Outlier Media and Associated Press; Still Loading
This entry stood out for its depth and strength of coverage, presentation and revelations about an issue of national importance. The material was presented in a compelling way that was also informative and transparent. Furthermore, the follow-through was impressive: The reporting held responsible parties accountable, and the team also followed up with policymakers and other journalists to advance the story.
Winner – Bloomberg News; Screentime
The “Screentime” entries are a well-researched, thorough and compelling compilation of entertainment news. They delve into the business of entertainment — from the expanding competition for podcast listeners, to what countries are supplying the top 10 shows on Netflix, to the growing differences between critics’ and audiences’ taste in movies — while showing readers why it matters what media is being consumed, how and by whom.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Everyday Economics in Your Inbox
Great reporting informs this highly readable newsletter which finds interesting angles everywhere.
Winner – Barron’s; Review and Preview
Barron’s newsletter is ideal for the busy business person who can’t read through everything. Very clearly organized, well-written, and a newsletter the judges would like to receive every day.
Winner – TKer; TKer by Sam Ro
TKer stands out for originality, ease of reading and insight. The judges all enjoyed reading it, and said they’d read it if they weren’t judging this competition. The voice of the author comes through in an easy way, and he shares his knowledge of the subject matter clearly and in an engaging manner.
Honorable Mention – ACBJ National Content Desk; The National Observer: Real Estate Edition
The judges enjoyed reading this newsletter on a niche area, but one that affects all our lives. Everyone needs a place to live, and it was well-balanced and engaging.
Winner – A collaboration of Kaiser Health News, NPR and CBS News; Diagnosis: Debt
“Diagnosis: Debt” was an extraordinarily deeply researched project that thoroughly examined the shocking crisis of medical debt and how private finance companies and hospitals are exploiting the vulnerable. The judges particularly liked the graphics throughout, and the interactive graphic showing the debt collection policies of hundreds of hospitals – a true public service. The partnership among KHN, NPR and CBS showcased how pooling resources can make our journalism better.
Honorable Mention – The Los Angeles Times; Identity Theft
The “Identity Theft” series gained power and authenticity from the first person account of a journalist covering personal finance, who still faced infuriating obstacles to regaining control of her money and credit after a theft. Judges particularly liked that the series not only presented the myriad of problems with the system, but proposed solutions.
Winner – Times-Picayune; Collapsed: Louisiana’s insurance crisis
Judges said this was a fascinating series that was very well done. They were impressed with the original reporting and clear topics for each story. Excellent use of data and primary sources.
Honorable Mention – The Real Deal; The problem with tenant screening reports
Original reporting, well written and researched, and structured with good first-hand sources. Really nicely written and interesting.
Winner – Capital & Main; No Place to Call Home
The series is very powerful and stays with you, and is, as it should be, upsetting and disturbing in each part. There isn’t, seemingly, much hope in the reality that confronts this young woman — and in that is a harsh and useful less. The entry is somewhat unconventional as a report on “personal finance,” but the finance aspects and pieces all are there – the reporter details what has led Sarah to this point and covered financial aspects throughout (regarding income; rents; rising rents; requirements; and more). It’s strong on the policy issues that factor into this matter. This is a collection of stories that effectively demonstrates the very high and human cost of the lack of affordable housing in the U.S. today and some of the ways in which those people confronting such a scenario contend with it.
Winner – A collaboration of The Wall Street Journal and Gimlet Media; Uncontrolled Substances
“Uncontrolled Substances” dove deep into the murky waters of for-profit health care. The report used an array of voices to tell listeners the story of Cerebral’s journey from promising telehealth startup to dangerous pill mill. As a result of the Wall Street Journal’s rigorous reporting, government investigations are taking place. The series used audio effects, interviews, and original scoring to engage listeners over four fast-paced episodes. The entry stood out for the quality of reporting and its effective storytelling, which educated, engaged, and effected change.
Honorable Mention – The Financial Times; Hot Money: Porn, power and profit
“Hot Money: Porn, power and profit” is a dazzling example of journalistic tenacity and riveting storytelling about a sector that is rarely covered by the financial press. Who controls the massive porn industry? Hosts Alex Barker and Patricia Nilsson embarked on a breathtaking, yearlong global exercise in untangling shell companies and connecting the Wall Street dots, in order to answer that simple and elusive question. The resulting podcast is fair-minded, filled with memorable characters and gripping storylines, and gives voices to some of the biggest players in one of the most powerful, and profitable, corners of the digital economy.
Winner – Marketplace; How We Survive: “Selling Miami” & “Little River”
Featuring brilliant reporting on an under covered subject, “Selling Miami”/”Little River” is a deep examination of one of America’s hottest real estate markets, Miami, and what happens as sea levels rise and much of the current beachfront property is underwater. Amy Scott and colleagues portray a society with a generous amount of obliviousness and wishful thinking as they talk to homeowners and real estate agents involved in buying and selling high-end properties that will surely be threatened by chronic flooding in the near future, while also moving inland to talk to less affluent residents who are already dealing with the devastating effects of climate change.
Winner – A collaboration of The Center for Public Integrity and Transmitter Media; The Wealth Vortex
The judges’ verdict was enthusiastic. This podcast series took a single idea and developed it like a great, long-form magazine story. It was able to tell an important tale through the voice of a strong central character who was there throughout. CPI showed it understands the value of the podcast format, exploring big ideas through intimate interviews.
Honorable Mention – MIT Technology Review; Farming a war zone
This podcast series looks at how AI and other technologies are changing agriculture in Ukraine and around the world. The judges liked how the podcast opened with the deeply personal story of a Ukrainian farmer struggling to keep going despite war. The details were memorable, e.g., blowing out tires on farm equipment by running over shrapnel. All three segments of the entry did an impressive job of exploring the theme of how “plants and machines” are working together to reshape agriculture.
Winner – Associated Press; Housing Squeeze
This series reflected not just deep reporting and crisp writing, but fresh, original angles on the deeply complicated story of the business of real estate and housing insecurity in the U.S. The use of visuals and video brought the reader deeper into the story. In a field of excellent entries, this one rose above.
Honorable Mention – Law360; Wall Street’s Single-Family Home Grab, Phoenix
This is an excellent package, packed with robust analysis and data. The team really dug into the story in an in-depth, rigorous way and also served the reader by explaining the concepts behind some of the business practices at play in the real estate market.
Winner – TIME Magazine; America Needs to End Its Love Affair With Single-Family Homes. One Town Is Discovering It’s a Tough Sell
This was a standout entry that was full of lovely telling detail, from the guy opining on affordable housing from his mansion to the quandary over where the potential construction workers might be housed if the development goes ahead. It hit many of the big themes — booming towns, a national distaste for high density housing (especially in the Western US) — but was an arresting story in its own right with interesting voices and a strong narrative throughout.
Honorable Mention – ProPublica; Rent Barons
As is often the case with a ProPublica entry, this was unmatched in its scale and breadth. It was well written and researched with a good mix of data crunching and anecdotal reporting. The investigation of RealPage, which uses an algorithm to push tenants to pay the highest rent possible, was outstanding and very relevant amid the burst of A.I. applications and testing. And, the story clearly led to real change in the form of a DoJ investigation.
Honorable Mention – The Cincinnati Enquirer; ‘They want to make everybody a renter’: How real estate investors are changing Cincinnati
This entry is a great example of using a local lens to explore national trends. It did a good job of getting to the heart of how the trend away from home ownership towards renting is changing the shape of communities.
Winner – Grist; Jake Bittle real estate package
Bittle’s coverage provides a deeply reported and sweeping look at the impact of climate change on real estate, with very human anguish and tough choices at the center of his reporting. “Higher Ground,” in particular, stood out for spotlighting the plight of the first post-Civil War municipality to be chartered by formerly enslaved people. Bittle thoughtfully delved into the conflicts facing the much-flooded town, such as whether to rebuild after a damaging flood or to give residents money to relocate, and untangled the complex issues surrounding FEMA and post-natural disaster planning that impacted the people of Princeville, North Carolina.
Honorable Mention – Triangle Business Journal; TBJ real estate coverage
Triangle Business News shed light on national real estate trends through well-reported coverage of their local area. “Pushed Out,” in particular, stood out for its coverage of pressures on historically Black neighborhoods as gentrification is forcing long-time residents to move.
Honorable Mention – Bisnow; 2022 DEI Data Series
The scope and depth of Bisnow’s data reporting series provides a unique look into the challenges of creating a more diverse real estate industry. The data initiative stands out for its depth and clarity, and the judges are pleased that Bisnow is continuing to track this issue.
Winner – Reuters; FTX
The Reuters team coverage of the breathtaking collapse of FTX was impressive and alarming. The team had access to internal memos showing the accelerated pace of withdrawals and broke an exclusive about the disappearance of $1 billion in assets and reported that exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried had transferred $10 billion in customer funds from FTX to his trading company Alameda Research. On one of the most-covered, important stories of the year, the Reuters work was quick, clear and ground-breaking.
Medium and small divisions
Winner – Crain’s Detroit Business; Oakland Hills president: Golf will go on, clubhouse will be rebuilt after fire
For their fast work and on-the-scene reporting of the tragic story about the fire at Oakland Hills, the judges award this entry the winner. The coverage was complete, ranging from breaking the news with strong quotes and pictures of the disaster, to a timeline and analysis of what it will take for the high-end country club that’s a locus for elite business leaders to return to its glory.
Winner – Bloomberg Green; Fashion’s Climate Disaster
As the Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shien took over the US—and TikTok—Bloomberg brought the company’s promises down to earth in a shocking manner. This series was artfully written and impressively reported. In one piece, Bloomberg lab testing revealed that Shein clothing was being manufactured in Xinjiang, bypassing US restrictions because it was cheap and sent directly to customers. In another, Bloomberg elucidated the impact of the fast-fashion trends: shores full of discarded clothes in Ghana and elsewhere. The last piece was a simple, but resonant data story that shows readers the awesome pace and scope of waste contributed by fast-fashion. The series not only holds powerful corporations to account, but illuminates the underbelly of their industry—and the lifespan of their products—in disturbing clarity for consumers to see.
Honorable Mention – Insider; Inside Nike’s High-Profile Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
This compelling work used more than 5,000 pages of court documents to report details on a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit filed against one of the world’s best-known companies. The articles revealed, among other things, shocking evidence of women being told by their male co-workers to “dress sexier,” as well as stories of “sloppy drunk” men propositioning them and touching them. Of special note: The Insider was one of three publications that went to court to unseal the records.
Winner – Fortune Magazine; The Life and Death of Kent Taylor
This entry was an impressive feat of journalism, convincing a close-knit and private family and company to open up about a painful loss. It found a new way to bring attention to an important subject. So much has been written about the effects of Covid, but this one surprised me in how it drove home how the disease can affect people long after they’ve recovered from the infection itself. It was by far the best entry in terms of pure storytelling.
Honorable Mention – Report on Business Magazine; I Will Revive
It is clear that Jason Kirby spent a lot of time answering the question, “Who is Doug Putman?” while doing this reporting, and he aptly answers that for readers in a thoughtful and well-reported way. He brought to light information about a man whom very little had previously been known in a way that was not only approachable but engaging. A lot of time and energy sounds like it went into just getting this guy to talk, let along all the background research that must’ve gone into this piece. Putman’s “greatest hits” and “5 rules for successful turnaround” sidebars were a nice way to get more info across in a succinct manner. Very well done all around. Convincing a secretive dealmaker to open up was a big accomplishment, as was pulling back the curtain on an obscure figure who’s suddenly in charge of stewarding some very well-known brands. The judges also liked that the story discussed some complex subjects in a way that would be accessible and interesting to all sorts of readers.
Winner – Triangle Business Journal; Laura Brummett retail coverage
Great series, taking a business reporter approach to widely interesting topics of food/restaurants and entertainment/theaters. Chock full of wonderful visuals including amazing charts that really help tell the story. The judges thought the storytelling here was very strong, from the anecdotes and data to the visuals, graphics and pullout quotes. The series together gives the reader a sense of getting an inside look at an emerging food scene.
Winner – Los Angeles Times; When your anti-Black coworker is Latino
When a cluster of California racial bias cases were settled in 2021 for $3.45 million, most news organizations treated this as a minor spot story. Los Angeles Times reporter Margot Roosevelt did not. Her interviews with Black warehouse workers brought to life the physical and emotional toll of sustained abuse on those forced to suffer it, as well as the tragic indifference encountered by those who tried to combat it. This article takes a giant step forward in exposing a strain of racism that’s been concealed for far too long.
Winner – The Miami Herald; Unforgiven: How the Paycheck Protection Program failed minority-owned businesses
Powerful and important explanation of data – showing the inequities in the PPP. Exactly what journalists should be doing!
Winner – St. Louis Business Journal; Open doors – the Letitia Wexstten story
“Opening doors – the Letitia Wexstten story” is a fantastic news feature that tells the story of one person while illuminating the struggles of an entire demographic, and provides readers with essential knowledge of both the struggles and capabilities of disabled people. The judges felt that the piece was deeply reported, wonderfully edited and beautifully presented, and is a worthy winner in this category.
Projects and collaborations
Winner – A collaboration of Arizona State University – Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Associated Press, InsideClimate News and Newsy; GASLIT
This multimedia investigative series starts with an impressive analysis of satellite data showing at least 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas has been burned off in the past 10 years. This has released carbon dioxide, methane and other pollutants. But the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism goes beyond the statistics to tell deeply human stories about the impact of flaring and the failure of regulators. The documentary does a nice job of driving these points home. The reporters solicited the views of a wide range of stakeholders from regulators to the oil and gas industry and not just critics of flaring. The presentation of all sides gives the series greater credibility.
Stories for professional media outlets
Winner – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Media and Mass Communication; College Rents on the Rise
Elizabeth Egan did an excellent job sourcing, reporting and delivering this story that brought to light the challenges facing students in the Research Triangle area. The volume of sources made plain the scope of the issue and how investors have moved into the market. Extra points for high quality art and graphics.
Honorable Mention – Yale University; New York City’s Sky-High Views Spit Out Cash, Luring REITs
Quite simply, this story captured the judges’ minds, both visually and for its reporting. It captured the consumer and investor perspectives on the story and delivered high-value information efficiently.
Stories for student media outlets
Winner – Cronkite News at ASU; Covering the business beat from Washington
In these three stories reported from Washington, Arizona State’s Neetish Basnet demonstrates range, confident writing and an eye for news. The centerpiece is his piece on Arizona’s booming gun industry which takes an even-handed but unflinching look at one of the nation’s most controversial industries. His article on immigration was solid and thoroughly reported and the short feature on Washington’s street vendors who profit from protests was a small gem full of delightful quotes and observations.
Honorable Mention – Carolina News and Reporter; From Recycling to Robots, Tech’s past and future in SC
Mr. Pastis demonstrates with these three articles a keen sense of what news is and the importance of deep reporting. The stories about electric vehicles and recycling employ a wide range of sources and data to explain the problem and potential solutions. The piece about a robot company meeting its production needs by turning to high school students is simply fascinating.
Winner – The Wall Street Journal; When Meta’s Business Buckled
In a category rife with outstanding, deeply reported entries in a year of seismic tech news, the judges found the Wall Street Journal’s deep look at Meta a notch above the rest. The stories showed in methodical detail that Meta, by far still the largest and most influential social media company, is stumbling on nearly all fronts. The reporting, backed up by internal documents, exclusive interviews and key financial data, shed important light on Meta’s potential future strategy in an increasingly complex and competitive landscape.
Honorable Mention – The New York Times; The Twitter Takeover
Amid intense, competitive coverage of Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase, the New York Times ‘ vivid details and nuance provide readers with a clear narrative that stands out.
Winner – Wired; The Crypto Trap: Inside the Bitcoin Bust That Took Down the Web’s Biggest Child Abuse Site
This detailed story follows an important investigation that took down a major criminal enterprise. The story makes strong work of its narrative structure and methodically explains why this case is so important to law enforcement and to the world as a whole. Greenberg shows why it matters that bitcoin is traceable.
Honorable Mention – ProPublica; Inside Google’s Quest to Digitize Troops’ Tissue Samples
This in-depth investigative report sheds light on the privacy issues surrounding genetic medical data and raises important questions about the relationship between tech companies and the military. The reporting performs an important public service and holds powerful institutions accountable.
Winner – IEEE Spectrum; What Happens When a Bionic Body Part Becomes Obsolete?
A compelling read from start to finish, with impressive reporting, strong writing and a notable news impact. Strickland and Harris build empathy for their subjects and help bring home for readers a broad issue – the reliability and risks of putting your health in the hands of tech startups.
Honorable Mention – A collaboration of The Markup and STAT; Pixel Hunt
Deeply reported and a great example of accountability journalism that has an impact. This series helps consumers understand how their data is being shared, even when utilizing websites and online services that should be safe.
Honorable Mention – Rest of World; Sea change: Google and Meta’s underwater cables up the stakes on internet control
Deep, difficult-to-execute reporting that shows a dedication to the topic. Details and color show that work put in to ensure the story was interesting and readable and accessible to a wide audience.
The Business of Sports
Winner – The New York Times; A Risky Wager
Judges thought this outstanding series provided a comprehensive look at a phenomenon that is impossible to overlook, but not well understood. The reporters explained the issue from a variety of perspectives, introduced us to the key players and clearly told us why we should care: who wins and who stands to lose the most.
Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The Battle for the Future of Golf
These stories overcame the judges’ general disinterest in golf to present a compelling power struggle in that corner of professional sports. The reporting told an engaging story about money, tradition, rules for players and power in a way that transcended the niche of golf.
Medium and small divisions
Winner – Sportico; Sports Business Package
Sportico shows how a small publication can break big news right alongside larger rivals. Their scoops are impressive and impactful. The reporting, background research and their use of data come together to produce pieces truly deserving of an award.
Winner – The New York Times; Self-Driving’s False Promise
An immersive and defining example of pulling threads across different sectors to create a cogent, well-reported, and accessible story. Cade brought readers along, with simplicity and a curiosity that uncovered angles that were original and captivating.
Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; Behind Southwest Airlines’ Meltdown
One of the biggest stories of the year—unfolding in real time–to the horror of stranded passengers and the airline, itself. A deeply sourced, deep dive into a breaking news story with nuance, depth, and detail, providing the public with an eye-opening account of a meltdown years in the making. This story made a lasting impression.
Winner – A collaboration of The Center for Public Integrity and Scripps News; Attacked behind the wheel
This is a strong entry that tackles what is an important human-interest story and business issue. The entry stands out in the package for bringing to life the plight of women truckers working in a frequently hostile environment. Also, it sets these personal accounts against the backdrop of an industry struggling to find drivers, but apparently unprepared to take enough steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one of the obvious pools of new labor–women. The sourcing is strong, including compelling interviews with multiple women victims, and the written article provides more detail on their specific experiences.
Winner – A collaboration of The Markup and The Verge; Working for an Algorithm
We all know ride-hail drivers are vulnerable, but these three stories bring their predicament to life and support it all with hard numbers — numbers that grow alarmingly from one piece to the next. The Markup offers an honest presentation of what its data can and can’t capture, a disciplined approach to the storytelling even when the events get graphic, and an important perspective on race and risk. The ride-hail companies’ failure to act decisively against the violence says it all. The trio of stories has broad impact, original reporting and chilling detail and implications.
Winner – The Financial Times; Bankless in America: The Racial Wealth Gap
This was an outstanding video that identifies a complicated problem, gives it both human and expert touches. As excellent journalism should do, it also shows show the problem of racial disparities within the financial system, banking specifically, can better addressed including through regulation and technology.
Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Green; Big Coal’s Fall Guy
Impactful and well-reported stories about the troubles coal companies leave behind and how regulators fail to protect the people and natural resources being hurt. This work shows how generation of individuals and communities have been hurt by ineffective oversight while perpetuating wealth inequality and massive damage to the environment as well as losses for taxpayers.
Medium and small divisions
Winner – Chicago Booth Review; How Gender Affects the Way We See a Face
How do gender stereotypes affect our first impressions of someone’s face? This five-minute video from Chicago Booth Review is an ingenious blend of expert commentary from a scientific researcher – and a delicious swirl of stylized facial images that keep changing as the voice-over narrative explains the eerie ways that our mental impressions take shape. Creators Josh Stunkel and Ray Zane make the most of video’s potential, producing an episode that’s both informative and startling.