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Award honors two inspirational business series

Rob Barry, Donald Barlett, James Steele

Rob Barry, left, and Donald Barlett listen while James Steele discusses investigative reporting. Photo by Molly J. Smith

This year’s winners of the Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism are the type of journalists that get your blood pumping.

Their work exposes fraud, holds powers accountable and highlights the voiceless. They’ve got enough passion for the craft to inspire the jaded and the series they penned in 2008 prove that investigative business journalism can thrive, even during a time newsroom cutbacks and industry uncertainty.

The team from The Miami Herald – Jack Dolan, Matthew Haggman and Rob Barry –  used computer assisted reporting to identify mortgage brokers with criminal records who were ripping off Florida residents. Reporters from Bloomberg Markets investigated the shady fees that AARP collects on members’ insurance policies.

On Wednesday, the winners were highlighted in a panel discussion with Don Barlett and Jim Steele as part of Reynolds Business Week. The fellows from the Strictly Financials and Business Journalism Professor seminars listened as the journalist talked about the reporting behind their stories and the future of investigative business journalism.

“The good news is, there is more investigative journalism being done now than ever before,” Barlett said during a panel discussion about the projects and the pool of submissions for the award.

Meet Don Barlett & Jim Steele

In this video, Jim Steele explains why investigative business journalism is vital in newsrooms.

Don Barlett details the challenges of investigative business journalism and offers advice for reporters tackling in-depth stories.

To learn more about the investigative dream team of Barlett & Steel, check out this story.

Winners of the 2009 awards

Here’s a brief overview of this year’s winners and a list of the projects that received honorable mention.

Reporters Jack Dolan, Matthew Haggman and Rob Barry from The Miami Herald discuss their series “Borrowers Betrayed,” which won the gold award in the Barlett & Steele contest. Also, make sure to check out the full series.

Gary Cohn and Darrell Preston, silver award winners from Bloomberg Markets magazine, share the story behind their project “AARP Stealth Fees.”

Previous winners

A complete list of the 2008 and 2007 projects that grabbed the Barlett & Steele awards and also past honorable mention finalists.

Learn about the reporting behind BusinessWeek’s “Prisoners of Debt” series by Brian Grow, Robert Berner, Keith Epstein and Gery Smith, which took the top honors in the 2008 awards.

Walt Bogdanich discusses “A Toxic Pipeline,” a series he wrote with Jake Hooker for The New York Times. Their work received the first-place award in 2007.

Fred Schulte and June Arney of The Baltimore Sun talk about their series, “On Shaky Ground,” which grabbed the second-place $2,000 Barlett & Steele award in 2007.

Submit your work

Here’s the details on how enter your work in the 2010 Barlett & Steele awards.

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