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IRE members named finalists for Goldsmith Prize

The Shorenstein Center has named nine IRE members from five news organizations as finalists for the 2017 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and one IRE member as the winner of this year’s academic Goldsmith Book Prize. The winners of the 2017 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting will be announced on March 2, 2017, at the Kennedy School. The Center will choose from six finalists.

Danny Robbins and Jeff Ernsthausen of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution were named for their work on “Doctors & Sex Abuse.” The investigation uncovered a system that protected doctors who sexually abused vulnerable patients and consistently failed to strip offending doctors of their license to practice.

Sam Roe and Karisa King of the Chicago Tribune were named for their work on “Dangerous Doses.” The two-year investigation uncovered the fatal and harmful effects of mixing prescription drugs and found that pharmacies miss half of all fatal drug combinations.

David S. Cloud of the Los Angeles Times was named for his series of articles investigating the California Guard enlistment bonus scandal. Cloud found that the California National Guard paid thousands of soldiers enlistment bonuses to entice them to reenlist when the Guard was short on troops, and then, a decade later, the Pentagon demanded the money be repaid, charging interest and resorting to wage garnishments and tax liens if soldiers refused to pay back the money.

Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune were named for their series “Bias on the Bench.” The team built their own database to compare sentencing patterns in the state of Florida based on age, race, gender, previous work experience and more. They found that black defendants were sentenced to more time behind bars and less second chances.

Michael Siconolfi and John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal were named for their work on “The Downfall of Theranos.” The investigation spotlights a laboratory start-up, Theranos. The company doctored research, failed quality-control checks and advertised revolutionary blood testing techniques that threatened the health of their patients.

James (Jay) T. Hamilton, director of the journalism program at Stanford University, is the recipient of this year’s academic Goldsmith Book Prize for his book, Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard University Press). Hamilton traces the real-world impact of investigative journalism and uses economic theories of markets and incentives to identify the types of investigative projects that are prioritized and funded. His work shows the social benefit of investing in investigative reporting.

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