Drange wins SABEW’s Birger award
Matt Drange, a staff reporter for The Information, is the 2019 winner of the Larry Birger Young Business Journalist contest, honoring journalists under 30.
Additionally, the judging panel chose to honor two finalists: Ellen Huet, reporter for Bloomberg, and Casey Fabris, reporter for The Roanoke Times.
Drange will receive the award, a $1,500 honorarium and travel stipend to New York made possible by a gift from rbb Communications of Miami. The award commemorates Larry Birger, a former Miami Herald business editor who led SABEW as president in 1977. Birger was later a principal in rbb until his death in 1998.
Josh Merkin, vice president of rbb Communications, will present the award to Drange at SABEW’s New York Fall Conference on Nov. 12.
“In the face of many challenges, journalists continue to operate with courage and deliver quality work that shines light on the most important issues facing our world today,” said Merkin. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with SABEW to honor Larry’s legacy and offer support to the next generation of business journalists.”
Drange, 30, graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree from the school of journalism in 2012 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Humboldt State University in 2011. He turned 30 in March, meeting the award age eligibility requirements.
Drange has worked for media outlets, such as The Center for Investigative Reporting as a staff reporter covering technology, the business of guns and the environment. As a staff writer for Forbes Magazine, he covered Donald Trump’s business dealings and the technology industry. With The Information, Drange covers money and power in Silicon Valley.
“I’m humbled to be recognized alongside such stellar journalists, including both past and present honorees. I’ve been fortunate to spend the early part of my career at newsrooms like The Information, which provides the time and resources to pursue stories worth telling,” Drange said. “I’m especially grateful for the support of my mentor and longtime business journalist, Marcy Burstiner, who taught me to report with tenacity and humility.”
“Matt impressed all the judges with his persistence at digging up great stories. He displayed an incredible sense of how to mine for features on a particular beat and to tell those stories in an interesting way,” said head judge Jon Chesto of The Boston Globe. “His investigative piece on the decline in Big Tech prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern California was noteworthy in its scope, and he deserves credit for ferreting out a loophole at eBay that allowed assault rifle parts to be sold on the site despite rules supposedly preventing such sales.”