The National Press Club has named ProPublica the winner of two of its annual journalism awards.
“Evenflo, Maker of the ‘Big Kid’ Booster Seat, Put Profits Over Child Safety” won in the Consumer Journalism-Periodicals category. The investigation by reporters Daniela Porat and Patricia Callahan showed that the carseat maker had put marketing above the safety of the children who used its “Big Kid” booster seats. Their reporting revealed the regulatory failures that allowed the seats to be sold even after children were seriously injured. In October 2021, members of Congress introduced the Booster Seat Safety Act, a law prompted by ProPublica’s investigation that would establish the most sweeping safety rules for booster seats in more than two decades, after determining the makers of the car seats misled parents about their risks and endangered children’s lives.
“Inside the Fall of the CDC” won the National Press Club’s Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis. Reported by James Bandler, Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg, the story provided a comprehensive look at meddling inside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by a White House determined to prioritize the president’s message over public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. From botched COVID-19 tests to line-by-line edits that President Donald Trump’s advisers made to official health guidance, the reporting shed new light on the missteps and repeated capitulations made by some of the government’s top scientists.
Reporting on “pandemic profiteers” by J. David McSwane also received an honorable mention in the Consumer Journalism-Periodicals category. The series of stories exposed jaw-dropping instances of waste and bad judgment in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the U.S. government tossed aside its many rules on contracting to hand out billions of dollars to just about anyone who said they could supply personal protective equipment.
See a list of all the National Press Club Award winners here.