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ProPublica Announces New Prizes for Investigative Governance

New York, N.Y. (November 17, 2008)—ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom producing journalism in the public interest, today announced new awards to honor outstanding investigative work by governmental groups in the United States. The ProPublica Prizes for Investigative Governance will recognize some of the best reporting done by such groups as the Government Accountability Office, Congressional committees, inspectors general, state attorneys general, special counsels and prosecutors and others from any branch of government at the federal and state levels.

Entries are being accepted now and will be judged by an independent, non-partisan panel of journalists, present and former public officials and other leading citizens. Former U.S. Rep. James Leach, a member of ProPublica’s Board of Directors, will chair the prize jury, which will also include former Comptroller General of the U.S. David M. Walker, now president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis, now director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School; Gregory L. Moore, the editor of the Denver Post and a member of ProPublica’s Journalism Advisory Board; former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division Victoria Toensing and ProPublica editor-in-chief Paul Steiger. [The prize jury has been expanded to include Byron Calame, former public editor of the New York Times and former deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal.]

“Some of the most important accountability information comes from inside government itself and ProPublica wants to recognize that,” said Steiger. “Our Prizes will acknowledge the crucial role these investigators, and the institutions they represent, play in exposing corruption and shining a light down the darker, and too often secret, corridors of our public institutions.”

Prizes will be awarded in five categories:

  • Federal investigation—executive branch
  • Federal investigation—legislative branch
  • Federal investigation—independent agency
  • State or local investigation—multi-district elective or executive agency
  • State or local investigation—legislative branch/independent agency

Nominations for the ProPublica Prizes in Investigative Governance are being accepted now through January 31, 2009 and will cover work produced during the 2008 calendar year. The criteria for judging will be similar to ProPublica’s aspiration for its own content: honoring work that achieves impact in the public interest by exposing exploitation of the weak by the strong and the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them. Anyone may nominate a governmental investigative report – including self-nominations. Prizes will be awarded at a luncheon in Washington, DC in the Spring of 2009. For more details and information on how to enter, please visit

The ProPublica Prizes are supported by a grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

ProPublica has the largest news staff in American journalism devoted solely to investigative reporting. ProPublica is supported entirely by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own web site and to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article.

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