New York Times Wins Two George Polk Awards

New York Times Wins Two George Polk Awards

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WASHINGTON — The New York Times on Tuesday won two George Polk awards for reporting on the Trump family’s use of dubious tax schemes and the trend of social media giants choosing profit over users’ privacy.

And for the first time, the organization gave an award to a podcast, “In the Dark: Season 2,” about a death row inmate in Mississippi who has been tried six times for the same crime.

“It marks the growing influence in radio and podcasts — and radio programming in general — in our daily news diet,” said John Darnton, the curator of the awards.

Long Island University, which gives the awards annually in memory of George Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek Civil War, said it received 554 entries for consideration — the most in the program’s 70-year history.

In all, 14 news organizations and Netflix were recognized for outstanding journalism during 2018 and will receive their awards at an April luncheon.

The New York Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner won the Polk award for political reporting for their investigation of President Trump and his family’s use of questionable tax schemes over decades and the true source of Mr. Trump’s wealth — his father, Fred C. Trump — despite the president’s assertions that he received little financial help from him.

In response to the article, Mr. Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying that “The Failing New York Times” did an old and boring “hit piece” on him. He also estimated, without evidence, that 97 percent of The Times’s articles about him “are bad.”

The award for national reporting went to the Times staff with contributions from Carole Cadwalladr for The Guardian/The Observer of London for coverage of Facebook and other social media giants and their propensity to prioritize profit over users’ privacy. The coverage included accounts of how Trump campaign advisers used a voter profiling company, Cambridge Analytica, that exploited the social media activity of American voters during the 2016 campaign.

Two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, won the foreign reporting award for their coverage of a massacre in Myanmar in which 10 Rohingya Muslims were executed. The two journalists were arrested in Myanmar during their reporting.

Bill Siemering, a founding father of National Public Radio, received the Polk career award. And two Washington Post journalists, David Ignatius and Karen Attiah, won a special award for their coverage of the killing of their colleague, Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

The director Kirby Dick and the journalists Amy Ziering and Amy Herdy won the Polk award for medical reporting for the Netflix documentary “The Bleeding Edge,” about the use of poorly researched medical devices and the pain inflicted on victims.

Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark of APM Reports in St. Paul received the first Polk award given to a podcast for “In the Dark,” which explored the case of a Mississippi man who has been tried six times for the 1996 killings of four people.

Speaking on a panel in Washington after the awards were announced on Tuesday, Ms. Baran said the investigation started with a listener’s tip.

“This story began with an email from a woman who has never contacted me again. And she said, ‘There is a man here in Mississippi named Curtis Flowers who has been tried six times for the same crime,’” Ms. Baran said. “That was the first I’d ever heard of Curtis Flowers.”



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