Reporting is it’s own award; there’s no better feeling in the world than knowing that you’ve helped inform public understanding of an important issue and helped spur reform or hold the powerful to account. I’ve been fortunate enough to win some recognition for my reporting – often for doing just that:
From The Deadline Club, New York City’s Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:
- Winner of the 2017 local news reporting award for “The Rent Racket” — my months-long investigation into tenant abuses in New York City’s housing market by powerful and well-connected landlords who flout the law.
From The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants:
- “The Rent Racket” won the Society’s 2017 Excellence in Financial Journalism award for local reporting.
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.
- My series on tobacco bonds won the Society’s 2015 Excellence in Financial Journalism award for explanatory reporting.
Awarded to Cezary Podkul of ProPublica for his reporting and writing about a little understood financial debacle created by state and local governments who borrowed against their share of the Big Tobacco legal settlement turning a multi-generational windfall into a multi-generational legacy of debt.
From The Society of American Business Editors and Writers:
- “The Rent Racket” was a finalist in the 2015 “Best In Business” award contest for real estate reporting.
Cezary Podkul, for the outstanding reporting and analysis of his “Rent Racket” series, which uncovered significant abuse by developers of public tax money in New York City’s broken rent-stabilization system, enabled by regulators who look the other way and expose tenants in as many as 50,000 apartments to illegal rent increases and evictions.
- “The Rent Racket” was also the winner SABEW’s 2016 “Best In Business” award for real estate reporting.
- I was also the winner of SABEW’s 2015 Larry Birger award, which honors the best business journalist under age 30 each year.
The judges noted Podkul’s stellar work over a variety of publications, including USA Today, The Washington Post and Reuters, where he worked most recently before joining ProPublica last year. His work for USA Today helped free-up hundreds of millions in unspent highway funds earmarked by Congress for pet projects.
From Wallace House, University of Michigan:
- I was a two-time finalist for the University’s Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, in 2017 and in 2016, for my “Rent Racket” reporting. The awards honor work by reporters under the age of 35 in print, broadcast, and digital journalism.
From The Society Of The Silurians, a veteran journalists’ club in New York:
- My series on tobacco bonds won the society’s 2014 Excellence in Journalism award in the investigative reporting/web exclusive category.
Building special data bases to probe the public records left by Wall Street bond deals built around scheduled payoffs from the national tobacco settlement of 1999, these meticulously researched stories were the first to document that nearly half the money no longer goes to benefit taxpayers. Instead, it’s being siphoned off to cover a multi-generational legacy of debt taken on by dozens of the governments involved – debt that some may never be able to repay. Apps built by Yue Qiu and Lena Groeger allow readers to track the financial effects of these bad deals county by county in New York State and elsewhere.
From the UCLA Anderson School of Management:
- I was a 2014 finalist in UCLA’s annual Loeb Awards contest, the highest distinction in business and financial journalism, for Reuters’ “Uneasy Money” series, which I reported with Carrick Mollenkamp.
From Columbia Journalism School, my alma mater:
- My Columbia master’s thesis on unspent earmarks won the 2011 Melvin Mencher Prize for Superior Reporting.