The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) announced today that ProPublica won three awards, in addition to being named a finalist in a fourth category, in its annual Best in Business competition recognizing excellence in business journalism.
Michael Grabell and Lena Groeger’s Insult to Injury, a collaboration with NPR’s Howard Berkes, won in both the digital investigative and innovation categories. The investigation into America’s vanishing worker protections detailed how, since 2003, 33 states have passed workers’ comp laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult for injured workers to qualify for them. In Texas and Oklahoma, companies were allowed to opt out of state workers’ comp altogether and offer their own plans, often with significantly lower benefits.
Paul Kiel, Annie Waldman and Al Shaw’s Color of Debt, analyzing racial disparities in the use of lawsuits to pursue consumer debts, won in the digital explanatory category. The story’s unprecedented analysis of five years of court records showed that, even accounting for income, the rate of debt collection judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as in mostly white ones.
In addition, Cezary Podkul and Marcelo Rochabrun’s Rent Racket series, investigating New York City's broken rent-stabilization system, was a finalist in the real estate category.
See a list of all the SABEW Best in Business winners here.