The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia Journalism School announced Thursday that a reporter from The New York Times won the 2020 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize.
Mary Williams Walsh, ‘83 Knight-Bagehot, a financial reporter at The Times, has been awarded the 2020 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize for her impressive body of reporting at the intersection of finance, public policy and the aging population, and for recent work assessing the impact of COVID-19 on state budgets, public pensions, debt and corporate bankruptcies.
In reviewing Walsh’s work, the committee said: “Mary Williams Walsh’s beat might best be described as ‘watching out for the collective wealth of the less fortunate,’ be they impoverished states or the imperiled pension funds of working people. These stories…alone qualify her for the prize, but this Welles Prize might also commemorate the years she has stayed on this beat, forcing it on us while much of the business press found buzzier topics.”
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.