Six Goldsmith finalists include two public media projects

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Two public media projects are among six finalists for the prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, presented annually by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

NPR’s Elizabeth Shogren, Howard Berkes, Sandra Bartlett and Susanne Reber, along with Jim Morris, Ronnie Greene, Chris Hamby and Keith Epstein of the Center for Public Integrity, were nominated for “Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities,” which for the first time publicly revealed the EPA’s internal “watch list” of the nation’s most troublesome air polluters. “This report triggered immediate enforcement action in two states, a push for openness by the EPA and an avalanche of coverage across the U.S.,” the Shorenstein Center noted in its announcement.

Also, Dafna Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur of ProPublica received a nod for their report, “Presidential Pardons: Shades of Mercy,” co-published by the Washington Post. The analysis of presidential pardons during the Bush administration revealed that white criminals seeking pardons were far more likely than minorities to succeed, which “prompted the Justice Department to launch a review and ignited a debate about why pardons are underused, how to eliminate bias and how best to reshape the entire system,” the center said.

Finalists receive $10,000. The winner of the Goldsmith Prize, along with its $25,000 cash award, will be announced on March 6 at the Kennedy School.

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