OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg receives SPJ Sunshine Award

August 23, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Bloomberg News is one of three media organizations that have received the Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The SPJ board of directors and Freedom of Information Committee honor people or organizations each year for their notable contributions to open government.

The recipients will be recognized at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet at Excellence in Journalism 2012 on Sept. 22.

In 2008, Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Reserve as a means to acquire information on the banks receiving money from the Fed as the financial crisis gained momentum. Though initially denied, Pittman’s request was fulfilled by a 2011 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the news organization. Bloomberg took the 29,000 pages of information it received and conveyed it to the public through more than 20 stories, graphics and databases on the government’s response to the financial crisis.

“‘The new openness was evident in the Fed’s unprecedented response to Bloomberg’s revelations,’ Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler wrote to the selection committee. ‘Without citing any particular story — or mentioning Bloomberg by name — the central bank’s staff leveled numerous public complaints about the disclosures, and about the way other media outlets mischaracterized them. Bloomberg responded point by point to the Fed, successfully defending each one.’

Pittman died in 2009, ‘before he could pore over the fruits of his cop reporter instincts and his unyielding inquisitiveness,’ Winkler wrote.

Read more here.

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