OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg reporter Green wins Welles Prize

October 2, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Bloomberg News reporter Peter S. Green has won the third annual Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, given by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The award recognizes Green’s sophisticated and influential coverage of widespread tax avoidance among U.S. corporations amid ambivalent, ineffectual use by the Internal Revenue Service of the whistle blower program that Congress created to assist the agency in 2006.

In a pair of major feature stories in 2011 and 2012, and follow-up news coverage this year: In July, 2011, he exposed the corporate problem by highlighting a whistle blower suit charging that construction equipment giant Caterpillar Inc.’s avoided $2 billion of taxes from 2000 to 2009 by improperly attributing to a Swiss unit at least $5.6 billion of profits from its lucrative parts business, even though the profits came from sales and shipments made by U.S. employees, from a U.S. warehouse.

On June 19 this year, Peter and Bloomberg reporter-at-large Jesse Drucker examined IRS resistance to actively using the 1,300 whistle blowers who have come forward under the Congressionally-mandated program. They found IRS fears of violating privacy laws, worry over Congressional badgering in behalf of influential constituents under investigation, and concerns over critical staff shortages.

The Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize memorializes the former Business Week columnist and editor — and Knight-Bagehot advisory board member — who died in June 2010, at age 72. It is awarded for any story or series produced by a graduate of the Knight-Bagehot program that best reflect business and financial sophistication and epitomizes Welles’ ideals of thorough reporting, good storytelling and timeliness.

Green will receive the Welles Prize at the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship’s 37th anniversary dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in New York.

Read more here.

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