Natalie Obiko Pearson, a senior reporter and Vancouver bureau chief for Bloomberg News, has been awarded the 2021 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize for her outstanding stories that covered a wide range of topics, including race, technology and philanthropy.
Pearson examined the spike in anti-Asian hate crime and its link to the economics of the housing market, looked at how China’s Huawei gained its foothold in the race for 5G technology and chronicled the dramatic rise and fall of a major global charity.
Pearson’s reporting drew on the skills learned during her fellowship, particularly in corporate finance and accounting classes, and highlights the lasting impact of the program. One judge said her story on how a charity had failed on multiple levels over the years read like a financial thriller. “Her reporting made business stories come alive through telling details, polished style and dogged investigations,” said the judge.
The Welles Prize honors the memory of Christopher J. Welles, a former director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship who was considered a top business writer from the 1960s to the 1980s for his penetrating accounts of malfeasance, corruption and corporate collapses. It is given annually to a graduate of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.