Six entries have been chosen as finalists for the 2006 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, awarded each year by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. The winner of the $25,000 prize will be named at an awards ceremony on March 14 at the Kennedy School.
The prize honors journalism that promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics by disclosing excessive secrecy, impropriety and mismanagement, or instances of particularly commendable government performance.
“This year’s Goldsmith finalists represent not only resourceful and aggressive investigative reporting, but stories of vital importance to our nation,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center. “It is an honor to be honoring them.”
The finalists for 2006 are as follows:
Joshua Boak, James Drew, Steve Eder, Christopher D. Kirkpatrick, Jim Tankersley, and Mike Wilkinson of The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) for “Uncovering ‘Coingate,’” an inquiry into Ohio’s curious investment in rare coins led to an investigation of what became a scandal of national dimensions, culminating in convictions of the governor and others, and exposure of illegal campaign contributions.
Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer of Copley News Service for “Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham.” A report led to the resignation of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) after Stern and Kammer revealed he had taken $2.4 million in bribes.
Evelyn Larrubia, Robin Fields, and Jack Leonard of The Los Angeles Times for “Guardians for Profit.” Their series exposed how a new breed of entrepreneur has entered the field of guardianship of the elderly and has victimized older Americans by charging them exorbitant fees, neglecting their needs, and sometimes looting their assets.
James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times for “Domestic Spying.” The Times revealed that the government was systematically tapping into international telephone calls and e-mail traffic in the United States without court warrants.
Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi, and R. Jeffrey Smith of The Washington Post for “The Abramoff Scandal.” Throughout 2005, in articles that broke the scandal’s major revelations, the Post unraveled Abramoff’s web and his ties to then-House Majority Leader Tom Delay.
Dana Priest of The Washington Post for “The CIA’s Secret War Against Terrorism.” This series of articles revealed the inner workings, successes, and failures of the CIA’s global effort to kill, capture, and interrogate suspected terrorists, revealing the existence of a network of secret prisons outside the United States.
Additionally, a special citation will be awarded to Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times for “The Genocide in Darfur,” which exposed the savagery plaguing Sudan that the world might not have otherwise seen. Through his dogged reporting, Kristof is responsible for saving many thousands of lives.