year I attend the Goldsmith Prize presentation for investigative
reporting at Harvard. The ceremony – hosted by the Kennedy School
of Government's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public
Policy – is always inspirational, and has certainly pushed me to
bust balls and pursue tougher stories in my own career. The Goldsmith
medal honors the most hard-nosed detail diggers in the business –
men and women who impact policy and lives for the better through
out this week's 21st anniversary of the award, I got to
thinking about the generic running line that so-called mainstream,
traditional media is negligent if not inconsequential. I won't
disagree for a second that the majority of broadsheets and newscasts
offer sad excuses for reporting. But there are still plenty of
examples of deep spelunking, of hardcore reporting in a day and age
when courageous muckraking is more of an exception than the norm.
a difference between journalists like this year's Goldsmith-nominated
New York Times writers, who exposed a rash of physical and
systemic abuse in New York's group home system for the
developmentally disabled, and what so many self-styled partisan Web
martyrs engage in. It's also a leap from the gotcha nonsense
practiced by five o'clock news snipers everywhere. These reporters
aren't chasing horny politicians across parking lots to ask questions
about their online dick pics.
words of Shorenstein director Alex Jones, a Pulitzer Prize winner and
New York Times veteran, these nominees reflect “a high point
for American journalism” – ABC's 10-month investigation into the
violent side of the Peace Corps, ProPublica's examination of
institutional racism in the Justice Department's presidential pardon
process. The purpose of the Goldsmith, says Jones, isn't just to
acknowledge one winner, but to bring attention to all of the
finalists. We couldn't agree more.
Ross, Anna Schecter and the ABC News Investigative Team
Corps: A Trust Betrayed"
Morris, Ronnie Greene, Chris Hamby and Keith Epstein,
for Public Integrity
Shogren, Howard Berkes, Sandra Bartlett and Susanne Reber
Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities"
Greenblatt, David Raziq and Keith Tomshe
Matter of Risk: Radiation, Drinking Water, and Deception"
Hakim and Russell Buettner
New York Times
Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur
(co-published with The
Keoun, Phil Kuntz, Bob Ivry, Craig Torres, Scott Lanman and
Fed's Trillion-Dollar Secret"
Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley