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Press Release

Winners of 2017 Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards Announced

Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
May 23, 2017

NEW YORK — (May 23, 2017) — The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards.

This award recognizes reporters from the national and local press whose work was published, posted or broadcasted in 2016, contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics. Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of NYSSCPA members and financial journalists, who ranked submissions on accuracy, quality and thoroughness of research as well as a fair and balanced representation of the topic. This year’s winners will be honored during a luncheon ceremony on June 8 in New York City.

2017 EFJ Award Winners:

Excellence in Financial Journalism Book Award: Robert J. Gordon, “The Rise and Fall of American Growth.” Gordon discusses post-Civil War American between 1870 and 1970, and its economic revolution through the inventions of electric lighting, indoor plumbing, air travel, and medical advances. He also shares his view on how such a revolution can’t be repeated due to the nation’s slowing productivity growth and the new challenges America are currently facing.

Audio: Gimlet Media’s podcast, StartUp, for “Dov Charney’s American Dream,” a seven-part documentary series about the founder and former CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney, and the rise and fall of his career due to the scandal of sexual harassment allegations and unethical business practices that caused him to be forced out of the company in 2014. StartUp’s host, Lisa Chow, and the rest of StartUp’s team, interviewed over 150 people during this series and were able to report new information that wasn’t revealed to the public during 2014.

Enterprise and Public Service: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy, Miami Herald, and other media partners, for publishing one of the largest journalism investigations in history, “The Panama Papers.” Following the massive leak of 11.5 million records, more than 100 media partners investigated and exposed offshore holdings and unethical/illegal financial practices connected to world leaders, politicians, and celebrities in more than 200 countries. The yearlong investigation and exposure caused governments and corporations all over the world to open inquires and investigations in response to the leak and helped create stricter regulations related to global tax evasion.

General Reporting: Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for, “Making a Plan for a Special-Needs Child.” Lankford comprehensively explains strategies and resources through the experiences of real families with special-needs children. Lankford shares resources for infants, school-aged children, and those over the age of 18 by discussing federal and state government benefits, insurance coverage, special programs and grants available for children and young adults who have special needs and what their families can do to help them.

InfographicNicole Bullock and Joanna S. Kao, from Financial Times, examine what Silicon Valleys’ “unicorns” will have to face to go public in “Unicorns face tough road to Wall St.” Bullock and Kao, researched the growth of private tech companies with a valuation of at least $1 billion, known as “unicorns” and provided interactive infographics revealing the market value of 52 tech companies that went public between 2013 and 2015, as well as the market value of tech startups following recent IPOs.

Local: Cezary Podkul, Marcelo Rochabrun, and Derek Kravitz from ProPublica, and Will Parker from The Real Deal, for “The Rent Racket.” Podkul and Rochabrun addresses New York’s real estate industry and the secret deals that undermine legal protections for New York tenants. The team’s investigation, which included Kravitz and Parker, revealed tax breaks that landlords and developers received due to raising rent and overcharging tenants, which wasted millions of dollars a year in tax subsidies and contributed to the rise in New York’s homeless population levels. With help from the New York City Public Advocate’s office, ProPublica mapped more than 450,000 New York City eviction cases filed between January 2013 and June 2015 and created a database for New Yorkers to search and view those cases by street address.

OpinionRex Nutting, Marketwatch for a series of opinion pieces from his “Money and Power” column, including an analysis on the fall of the American middle class and what contributed to its economic instability, inequality and political turmoil, and an examination of the do-it-yourself pension system and how it has contributed to America’s retirement saving crisis.

VideoAshlee Vance, from Bloomberg Businessweek, for “Hello World,” a video series focusing on the technology scene around the world. In 2016, Vance visited 10 countries on five continents to find out how inventors, scientists, and technologists from different cultures are shaping the future of technology.  Featured innovators included, Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify in Stockholm, Sweden, and Unit 8200, an elite branch of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that specializes in computer security and help protect against espionage and cyber attacks in Israel.

This year’s EFJ Awards judges were Gary Belsky, Mary Jo Brancatelli, Rumbidzai Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, Michelle Celarier, Jordan Frey, Orume Hays, Richard Hecht, Elliot Hendler, Joel Lanz, Iralma Pozo, Mike Taylor, George Victor, Michael Zaydon, and David Zweighaft. The 2017 EFJ book judges were Scott Adair, Justin Baer, Susan Barossi, and Leah Spiro.

About the NYSSCPA
Founded in 1897, the NYSSCPA is the premier professional accounting association for more than 26,000 members residing and practicing in New York State, encompassing all areas of public practice, including in government, education, healthcare, real estate, technology and entertainment and industry. It is the oldest – and the third largest such state society organization - in the United States.