Barlett & Steele Awards

Reporters are invited to enter the 2017 Barlett & Steele Awards

Named for two of the most illustrious investigative business journalists in history, the annual Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism honor the best investigative journalism covering money each year.

The awards are administered by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, whose programs help journalists cover money better.

The awards feature a gold award of $5,000, a silver prize of $2,000 and a bronze award of $1,000.

Enter your investigative reporting in the 2019 Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism. Read more about some of the past Barlett & Steele Award winners here.

Hear from the 2017 Barlett & Steele Award winners:

About Donald Barlett & James Steele

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Donald Barlett and James 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.

The Washington Journalism Review says of Barlett and Steele: “They are almost certainly the best team in the history of investigative reporting.”

Previous Winners


Gold: “Brexit’s Big Short” by Cam Simpson, Gavin Finch and Kit Chellel of Bloomberg News

Silver: “The Investigation of Michael Cohen” by Michael Rothfeld, Joe Palazzolo, Rebecca Ballhaus, Peter Nicholas and Alexandra Berzon of The Wall Street Journal

Bronze: “Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM” by Peter Gosselin, Ariana Tobin and Ranjani Chakraborty of ProPublica


Gold: “Dangerous Doses” by Sam Roe, Ray Long and Karisa King of Chicago Tribune

Silver: “Sticking with the Pig: A tale of loyalty and loss” by Tony Bartelme of The Post and Courier

Bronze: “Lowering the Bar” by John Fauber, Kristina Fiore and Matt Wynn in MedPage Today


Gold: “The Panama Papers” by CPI’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 100 media partners worldwide *

Silver: “Testing Theranos” by John Carreyrou, Christopher Weaver and Michael Siconolfi of The Wall Street Journal

Bronze: “OxyContin’s 12-Hour Problem” by Harriet Ryan, Lisa Girion and Scott Glover of the Los Angeles Times


Gold: “Fish Slavery” by Robin McDowell, Margie Mason, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan of The Associated Press * 

Silver: “Unchecked Care” by Christopher Serres and Glenn Howatt of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Bronze: “Dying for Care” by Pat Beall of The Palm Beach Post


Gold: “Temp Land” by Michael Grabell of ProPublica

Silver: “The Child Exchange” by Megan Twohey

Bronze: “Hospice Inc.” by Ben Hallman and Shane Shifflett of The Huffington Post


Gold: “America’s Worst Charities” by Kris Hundley and Kendall Taggart in a joint project of the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting

Silver: “The United States of Subsidies” by Louise Story of The New York Times

Bronze: “Inside Game: How Corporate Insiders Profit Ahead of the Public” by Susan Pulliam, Rob Barry, Michael Siconolfi and Jean Eaglesham of The Wall Street Journal


Gold: “Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart after Top-Level Struggle” by David Barstow of The New York Times *

Silver: “Ghost Factories” by lead reporters Alison Young and Peter Eisler of USA Today

Bronze: “Prognosis: Profits” by Ames Alexander, Karen Garloch, Joseph Neff and David Raynor

Honorable Mentions: 

    • Bloomberg News, “The Fed’s Trillion-Dollar Secret” by Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz.
  • Chicago Tribune, “Playing with Fire” by Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne.
  • Reuters, “Chesapeake Energy” by Brian Grow, Anna Driver, Joshua Schneyer, Jeanine Prezioso, David Sheppard, John Shiffman and Janet Roberts.


Gold: “Public Pensions, A Soaring Burden” by Craig Harris of The Arizona Republic

Silver: “A Case of Shattered Trust” by Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Bronze: “Seniors for Sale” by Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times

Honorable Mentions: 

    • Bloomberg Markets: “Profiting From Fallen Soldiers” by David Evans.
    • CNBC: Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation” by Scott Cohn and CNBC team.
  • ProPublica: “Dialysis: High Costs and Hidden Perils of a Treatment Guaranteed to All” by Robin Fields, Jennifer LaFleur and Al Shaw.


Gold: “Diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Dropped by Insurer” by Murray Waas of Reuters

Silver: “Side Effects: Money, Medicine and Patients” by John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Honorable Mentions:

  • McClatchy Newspapers: “Goldman Sachs and the Housing Crash” by Greg Gordon, Kevin Hall and Chris Adams
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Hounded: Debtors and the New Breed of Collectors” by Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt
  • Philadelphia Inquirer: “Inside the Health-Care Crucible: Reports from a Hospital in a Time of Upheaval” by Michael Vitez
  • USA Today: “The Credit Trap” by Kathy Chu


Gold: The Miami Herald for “Borrowers Betrayed” by Jack Dolan, Matthew Haggman and Rob Barry

Silver: Bloomberg Markets for “AARP’s Stealth Fees” by Gary Cohn and Darrell Preston


Gold: BusinessWeek for “Prisoners of Debt” by Robert Berner, Keith Epstein, Brian Grow and Geri Smith

Silver: The Seattle Times for “The Favor Factory” by Hal Bernton and David Heath


Gold: The New York Times for “A Toxic Pipeline” by Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker *

Silver: The Baltimore Sun for “On Shaky Ground” by Fred Schulte and June Arney

The writers of these articles went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting the following year.