BuzzFeed wins Polk for business journalism, NY Times wins financial
BuzzFeed News reporters Ryan Mac and Craig Silverman have won the George Polk Award in business journalism for a series demonstrating how Facebook exposes the public to disinformation, fraud and violence.
They found the $800 billion social media giant was slow to remove extremist content, fired a whistleblower who determined it favored right-wing publishers and disregarded another who detailed how fake accounts were undermining the democratic process in India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador as well as the U.S.
In one egregious example, Mac and Silverman revealed that Facebook ignored 455 requests to remove an event page urging militants to bring weapons to a Wisconsin protest where two people were later shot to death.
Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire of The New York Times won the financial reporting award for accessing and analyzing a trove of Donald Trump’s income tax information, a reportorial coup suggesting why Trump went to such lengths to hide it from public view.
They reported that in 11 years before 2017, he paid no federal income tax, benefitting from such questionable write-offs as $70,000 for hair care, over $2 million in property taxes on a family retreat and almost $800,000 in “consulting fees” paid to his daughter. Perhaps their most stinging revelation was the amount Trump remitted in each of two years he did pay tax: $750.
The Polk Awards are named in honor of George Polk, a CBS News correspondent who was murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. Instead of the usual springtime luncheon, winners of this year’s awards will record acceptance remarks.
See all of the winners here.