The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from the Shorenstein Center has been awarded to Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza, and Esther Htusan of The Associated Press for their investigative report “Seafood from Slaves.”
The Associated Press uncovered extensive use of slave labor in the Thai seafood industry, which supplies major U.S. supermarkets, restaurants, and food suppliers, such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Sysco, Nestle, Whole Foods, and Red Lobster. The investigation led to the freeing of more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, the jailing of perpetrators, congressional hearings, and the proposal of new laws. The U.S. State Department used the series as part of its decision to give Thailand the lowest rating for human trafficking and has discussed the findings during diplomatic talks.
“‘Seafood from Slaves’ is investigative journalism at its best,” said Thomas E. Patterson, the Shorenstein Center’s interim director. “The story was extraordinarily difficult to uncover and its impact on people’s lives and public policy will last far into the future.”
Additionally, the Shorenstein Center awarded the Career Award for Excellence in Journalism to Walter Isaacson. The Goldsmith Book Prizes were awarded to Harold Holzer for “Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion” and to Erik Albæk, Arjen van Dalen, Nael Jebril and Claes H. de Vreese for “Political Journalism in Comparative Perspective.”