Mother Jones wins Shorenstein Center’s 2017 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Nicco Mele (right), Shorenstein Center director and Shane Bauer of Mother Jones. Photo by Martha Stewart

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Cambridge, Mass. — The $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School has been awarded to Shane Bauer of Mother Jones for his investigative report “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard.”

Bauer spent four months working as a guard to get a deep look inside the secretive world of private prisons, exposing mismanagement. Within a few weeks, the Department of Justice announced it would end its use of private prisons and the Department of Homeland Security said it would consider doing the same.

“The judges agonized over this year’s decision,” said Shorenstein Center Director Nicco Mele. “Ultimately, the Mother Jones piece was an exceptional piece of reporting that deserved special attention and recognition. It was a brave and unusual story, full of challenges that were deftly navigated in the finest tradition of deep reporting.”

Additionally, the Shorenstein Center awarded the Career Award for Excellence in Journalism to Jorge Ramos. The Goldsmith Book Prizes were awarded to James T. Hamilton for Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism and David Greenberg for Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.

The five finalists for the Investigative Reporting Prize were The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal.