A couple of winners in the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ annual awards contest were business stories.
Willamette Week in Portland, Ore., won a certificate for its investigation into Portland General Electric. Reporter Nigel Jaquiss’ investigation into the proposed sale of Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility, revealed information from inside sources that sank the deal. While Texas Pacific Group, a private equity firm, publicly promised to keep PGE intact and not try to flip it quickly for big profits, internal documents revealed their real intentions were exactly the opposite. Jaquiss also revealed a tax scam in which hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes were collected from rate-payers but never turned over to the government. Also included are stories from other sources that cover the effects of Jaquiss’ reporting.
Bloomberg News’ investigation into pharmaceutical companies also received a certificate. The story and five sidebars investigated the dangers of privately administered drug trials that are killing otherwise healthy people. Because companies stand to make billions on the next block-buster drug, they are taking more risks with their trials and the people who sign up for them. The story offered an in-depth look of the possibly dangerous practices of the largest test center in the U.S., SFCB in Miami, who pay poor citizens and immigrants to be part of their clinical trials.
Read all the winners here.