The Shorenstein Center named six 2014 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting finalists. Among the finalists, one focused on World War II veterans who were lobotomized by the government. A special citation was given to two reporters for their series on widespread accounting malpractice by the Department of Defense.
Michael M. Phillip of The Wall Street Journal was one of the finalists for his series of stories, “The Lobotomy Files.”
In his series, Phillips detailed how the U.S. Veterans Administration lobotomized more than 2,000 mentally troubled troops after World War II. Using documents the government didn’t know it had about a shocking medical practice it didn’t remember performing, the articles challenged the deeply held myth that the Greatest Generation came through war emotionally unscathed.
Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr of Reuters received a special citation in their articles “Unaccountable.” The Reuters series exposed widespread accounting malpractice at the Defense Department and explains the human and economic costs.
The Goldsmith Prizes are underwritten by an annual gift from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation. The Investigative Reporting Prize, which carries a $10,000 award for finalists and $25,000 for the winner, is intended to recognize and encourage journalism which promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics by disclosing excessive secrecy, impropriety and mismanagement, or instances of particularly commendable government performance.
Judges for the Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize were: Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Patricia Callahan, Investigative Reporter at the Chicago Tribune; Robert H. Giles, former curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism; Ben Greenfield and Bill Epstein, representing the Greenfield Foundation.