Goldsmith Prize announces 2020 winner

Goldsmith Prize.

Courtesy of the Shorenstein Center

3 min read

The Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting recognizes and celebrates journalism that promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics. This year’s finalists include local, regional, and national outlets, and several collaborative journalism efforts.

On March 23, The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School  announced that the winner of the 2020 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting is “Copy.Paste.Legislate” by the staffs of The Arizona Republic, USA TODAY, and the Center for Public Integrity.

Visit to see a video celebrating this year’s winner and finalists.

The five additional finalists for the prize, as announced on Feb. 5 are:

  • “Lawless” by Kyle Hopkins of the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica
  • “Hidden Harm” by Christina Jewett of Kaiser Health News
  • “Silent Killer” by Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler of NBC News
  • “Fleeing Justice” by Shane Dixon Kavanaugh of The Oregonian/OregonLive
  • “The Afghanistan Papers” by Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post

“This year’s finalists represent some of the most important trends shaping journalism today, and are a superb collection of ingenious, enterprising, tireless reporting, of the kind on which democracy depends,” said Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs. “This year’s winner, ‘Copy.Paste.Legislate’, by a collaborative team from the Arizona Republic, USA Today and the Center for Public Integrity, is a stellar example of the kind of reporting that the Goldsmith Prize seeks to recognize. Their work is leading to increased transparency and better public policy making all across the country.”

“This was a massive effort that revealed just how much influence corporations hold over our local lawmakers,” said Chris Davis, USA TODAY Network’s vice president of investigations. “We found example after example of how special interests have been manipulating public policy by crafting their own laws and inserting language that lawmakers don’t fully understand.”

“There are few things more important for journalism to monitor than government, and there are few things we fear more than our government being secretly manipulated,” said Greg Burton, executive editor of the Arizona Republic. “With overwhelming evidence and painstaking data analysis, that is exactly what these reporters revealed.”

“Our award demonstrates that collaborative, ambitious public service reporting plays a vital role,” said the Center for Public Integrity’s CEO, Susan Smith Richardson, adding, “We win this at a time when COVID-19 means our newsrooms cannot gather together in celebration, but be sure our victory gives us heart to continue reporting on COVID-19 and other issues of national importance.”

The winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting receives $25,000, and finalists each receive a $10,000. The Goldsmith Prize is made possible annually through a generous gift from the Goldsmith Fund at the Greenfield Foundation.

To learn more about the Goldsmith Awards program, administered by the Shorenstein Center and funded by the Greenfield Foundation, visit Nominations for each year’s prize cycle open in the fall.