OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg big winner in CPA financial journalism contest

April 1, 2009

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants announced Wednesday the winners for its Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards that recognize reporters from the national and local press who contribute to a better understanding of business topics.

Twelve judges, representing the NYSSCPA and the New York Financial Writers Association, selected winners. Journalists will be presented with their awards at a luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City on May 5.

This year’s winners are:


Business/Financial: Fran Hawthorne, Bloomberg Press, “Pension Dumping: The Reasons, the Wreckage, the Stakes for Wall Street,” a hard look at the practice of terminating pension plans which has become a problem with broad implications for companies, employees and retirees.

General Audience: Byron Acomido and John Swartz, USA Today, “Zeroday Threat,” a remarkable body of investigative work that has set them apart as national experts on data theft and Internet-enabled financial scams.


Business/Financial – Magazine, under 1,500 words: Alexei Bayer, Research Magazine, “The Global Economy,” a series of articles analyzing economic trends that affect both the fate of nations and the contents of investors’ wallets.

Business/Financial, Newspaper, under 1,500 words: Tom Herman, The Wall Street Journal, a series of tax columns designed to improve public awareness and understanding of individual income-tax issues
and tax-efficient investing strategies.

Business/Financial, Magazine, over 1,500 words: William Selway and Martin Z. Braun, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, “Broken Promise,” a series of articles about how JPMorgan convinced school districts, counties and cities to use interest-rate swaps, complex derivatives that were supposed to provide low-cost financing to the public. Instead, taxpayers lost millions of dollars as JPMorgan reaped profits.

Business/Financial – Newspaper, over 1,500 words: Jonathan R. Laing, Barron’s, “The Next Government Bailout?,” an analysis of the decline and fall of the government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac.

General Audience, Newspaper, over 1,500 words: Kevin McCoy and Erik Brady, USA Today, “Rx for Errors,” a series of articles showing that major pharmacy chains’ corporate policies play a role in prescription errors that kill some patients, injure others and threaten the health of many more.


Business/Financial: Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg News, “When Numbers Mislead,” a series of articles with valuable insight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, written six weeks before the government placed the world’s two largest mortgage buyers in a conservatorship, ousted their chief executive officers and eliminated
their dividends.

General Audience: Keith Naughton, Newsweek, a series of articles about the auto industry offering deep reporting and intelligent analysis of the industry.


Accounting: Michael Rapoport and Dawn Wotapka, Dow Jones Newswires, “Lurking on the Balance Sheet,” a series of articles warning readers of the dangers lurking on the balance sheets of homebuilders, insurers, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and others.

Business/Financial: David Evans, Bloomberg News, “Way Ahead of the Curve,” a series of articles that foresaw in detail how and why the varied elements of the global financial meltdown would occur, months before they happened. The U.S. House and Senate used these articles to prepare for hearings to question top
finance executives about the economic collapse.

General Audience: Eric Carvin and staff, The Associated Press, “Meltdown 101,” a daily series of articles explaining some aspect of the economic crisis in terms the average reader could understand.


News Segment: Chris Arnold, National Public Radio, “Fraud and Greed in the Mortgage Crisis,” segments on interviews with current and former employees who described the missteps, temptation and outright fraud that led the mortgage industry into the biggest financial melt-down since the great depression.

Feature: Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson, This American Life and NPR News, “The Giant Pool of Money,” an hour-long radio documentary that explains how the housing boom inflated and then burst to send the world into economic crisis.


Gary Matsumoto, Bloomberg Television, “401(k) Hidden Fees,” a 16-month investigation uncovering how secretive billing practices enable 401(k) plan administrators to skim tens of billions of dollars from workers’ plans.

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