Media Moves

Florida real estate flipping story wins IRE award

March 29, 2010

A Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigation into real estate flipping in Florida has won an award from the Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The award was in the newspaper category for papers with circulation between 100,000 and 250,000.

The judges stated, “In this well-crafted series, Michael Braga, Matthew Doig and Chris Davis, of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, exposed how a vast scheme in the housing market in Florida happened, and ultimately, contributed to the economic collapse in the state. Reporters undertook a massive effort to collect and analyze every Florida real estate transaction from the past decade.

“The series identified hot spots where flipping was widespread and identified big players engaged in suspected fraudulent flipping practices. Judges were impressed with the creativity behind the Herald-Tribune’s online presentation. The series caused the Florida Attorney General to set up a state wide task force and federal investigators are building cases against at least two flipping rings named in the series.”

In addition Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino won in the book category for “The Sellout.”

Judges stated, “There have been many books about the economic crash, but The Sellout by investigative reporter Charles Gasparino stands out in large part because of the careful research. The book exposes the self-indulgent, risk-hungry, contempt-filled attitude of many of the Wall Street traders and bankers that led to the crisis and puts the most recent crisis into historical context. Gasparino’s work goes beyond simple finger-pointing and presents, in a reader-friendly, compelling way, why the system collapsed and how current policies may be leading to another round of excessive risk-taking.”

See all of the winners here.

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