Reynolds Center Accepts Entries for Annual Barlett & Steele Awards in Investigative Business Journalism

June 15, 2021
Barlett and Steele Awards

Entries are now being accepted for the 2021 Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism, the nation’s top investigative business journalism contest.

The annual awards contest, named in honor of renowned investigative business journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, celebrates the best in investigative business journalism each year. It is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Gold, silver and bronze winners receive cash awards of $2,500, $1,500 and $500, respectively.

Last year, “Luanda Leaks” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), FRONTLINE, Expresso, The New York Times and 33 other media partners took the Gold Award. Drawing on leaked records, the investigation centered on Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s wealthiest woman, who built a reputation on the false claim that she made her fortune through business acumen, grit and entrepreneurial spirit.

The 2020 Silver Award went to the Center for Public Integrity and the Los Angeles Times for the series “When the Wells Run Dry” that revealed how California risks shouldering a multi-billion-dollar bill because of deserted oil wells and how the public is paying a price for lax past practices. The “Profiting from the Poor” series by Wendi C. Thomas of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, working with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, received the Bronze Award for detailing how thousands of poor residents in Memphis have been sued for unpaid hospital bills and how two local health institutions profited from the poor.

Entries for the 2021 contest must be published or broadcast between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. Editors or contest coordinators of media outlets may submit up to two entries, each containing up to four articles, broadcast stories, videos or other multimedia elements. Entries from freelance journalists are welcome but must be accompanied by a letter from an editor or director. The entry deadline is Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST. Contest rules and the entry form can be found here.

About Barlett & Steele
Barlett and Steele have worked together for more than three decades, first at The Philadelphia Inquirer (1971-1997), where they won two Pulitzer Prizes and scores of other national journalism awards, then at Time magazine (1997-2006), where they earned two National Magazine Awards, becoming the first journalists in history to win both the Pulitzer and its magazine equivalent. They are now contributing editors at Vanity Fair and at CNN’s new investigative reporting initiative.

About the Reynolds Center
In addition to the Barlett & Steele awards contest, the Reynolds Center at the Cronkite School provides journalists with training and resources to help them cover business. Since 2003, more than 22,000 journalists have benefitted from the center’s free training, much of which is available at

For more information, contact Rian Bosse at