The New York Times wins Loeb business journalism award for series on food safety

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NY Times wins Loeb award for series on food safety

NEW YORK — The New York Times on Tuesday won a Loeb Award, among the highest honors in business journalism, for a series of stories detailing how the safety of the nation’s food has been compromised by laxly enforced safeguards and industry shortcuts.

This year’s Loeb Awards encompassed the major business stories of the past year, including the Toyota recall, Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and investigations into the causes of the financial meltdown.

The winners were also spread out among some medium circulation newspapers, with winners coming from The Detroit News, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Miami Herald.

The Loeb Awards have been presented for 37 years by Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. They were established in 1957 by Gerald Loeb, a financier and founding partner of E.F. Hutton, to encourage quality reporting in business, finance and the economy.

They were handed out with newspapers still mired in a financial slump that has forced many publishers to reduce their staffs to offset a steep drop in their main source of revenue — advertising. Although the downturn has eased during the first half of the year, print advertising revenue is still sinking back to where it was in the mid-1980s as readers shift to free news online and marketers pour more of their budgets into less expensive Internet options.

The Times series on food safety, which won the award in the large circulation newspaper category, included a piece detailing how some hamburger patties are made, focusing on the case of a woman who was paralyzed after eating an E. coli-tainted burger.

Alix Freedman, deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal who is in charge of maintaining the newspaper’s reputation for accuracy and fairness, received the Lawrence Minard Editor Award. The Wall Street Journal is a division of Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corp.

Walt Bogdanich, assistant editor in the investigative unit at The New York Times and a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, was given the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ted Anthony, Christopher S. Rugaber, Mike Schneider and Mike Baker of The Associated Press were finalists in the news services category for their work on an Economic Stress Index. The Stress Index stitched together a vast array of data to create a comprehensive view of the nation’s economic health, down to the county level.

Matt Apuzzo and Daniel Wagner of The Associated Press were also finalists in the news services category. They gave a behind-the-scenes look at the influence of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup as the government worked to minimize damage from the global financial collapse, showing how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner maintained regular contacts with a small cadre of Wall Street executives.

This year’s awards were presented Tuesday night at a dinner in Manhattan. The winning entry in each category receives $2,000.

The full list of winners by category:

— Large Newspapers: Michael Moss and Andrew Martin for “Food Safety” in The New York Times.

— Medium & Small Newspapers: Michael Sallah, Rob Barry and Lucy Komisar for “Keys to the Kingdom: How State Regulators Enabled a $7 Billion Ponzi Scheme” in The Miami Herald.

— Magazines: James Bandler, Nicholas Varchaver and Doris Burke for “How Bernie Did It” in Fortune Magazine.

— Commentary: Joseph E. Stiglitz for “Capitalist Fools and Wall Street’s Toxic Message” in Vanity Fair.

— Breaking News: Christine Tierney, David Shepardson and Gordon Trowbridge of The Detroit News for “GM, Chrysler Nudged Toward Bankruptcy.”

— Beat Writing: Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger for “The Toyota Recall” in Los Angeles Times.

— News Services: Greg Gordon, Kevin G. Hall, and Chris Adams for “Goldman, Moody’s and the Collapse of the American Economy” in McClatchy Newspapers.

— Feature Writing: Michael Lewis for “Wall Street on the Tundra” in Vanity Fair.

— Online Commentary and Blogging: David Pogue for “Pogue’s Posts” for The New York Times.

— Personal Finance: Matthew Hathaway, Elizabethe Holland and Jim Gallagher for “From Prison to the Pinnacle” in St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

— Television Breaking News: Scott Cohn, Mary Thompson, Courtney Ford, Wally Griffith and Molly Mazilu for “The Madoff Scandal” on CNBC.

— Television Enterprise: David Faber, Mitch Weitzner, James Jacoby, Jill Landes and Patrick Ahearn for “House of Cards” on CNBC.

— Television Enterprise Honorable Mention: Marlena Telvick, Lowell Bergman, Oriana Zill de Granados and Daniel Hirst of PBS Frontline for “Black Money.”

— Business Book: Andrew Ross Sorkin for “Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves” published by Penguin Group (USA) — Viking.


Loeb Awards:

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