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Bloomberg Journalists Win Three Gerald Loeb Awards

June 25, 2014

The Gerald Loeb awards are considered business and financial journalism’s highest honor and last night, Bloomberg News won three. John Brecher received the Lawrence Minard Award for excellence in business, economic and finance journalism editing; Cam Simpson won the Loeb award for magazine reporting for his reporting on Apple’s supply chain; and Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch, Ambereen Choudhury and Bob Ivry received the Loeb for news services for their reporting on the alleged manipulation of currency markets.

John Brecher accepts the Lawrence Minard Editor Award

John Brecher accepts the Lawrence Minard Editor Award

The Loeb Awards cap a successful awards season for Bloomberg’s global newsroom, which has been recognized for reporting on hazing at U.S. college fraternities, the hidden fees that allow banks to extract enormous profit from their customers, and the tainted supply chains for major consumer brands that fund a terrorist group in Colombia and rely on bonded labor in Malaysia.

Our award-winning reporting has had impact: Bloomberg’s investigation into alleged currency manipulation prompted regulators across the globe to open formal investigations and forced the world’s biggest banks to conduct internal reviews. As Columbia Journalism Review noted in January, “This is a multitrillion-dollar-a-day market that’s suddenly cleaned itself up dramatically after Bloomberg’s report put regulators on the trail.” The reporting also received the Harold Wincott Award for Financial Journalism, the U.K’s most prestigious business journalism prize.

Cam Simpson’s reporting on the iPhone testers caught in Apple’s supply chain revealed the tactics brokers used to recruit them into bonded labor. His work received the Overseas Press Club’s Joe and Laurie Dine Award for “Best International Reporting in Any Medium Dealing with Human Rights” and an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) for investigative reporting.

Past and present colleagues pay tribute to John Beecher
in a video shown at the Loeb Awards on June 24th:

David Evans, acting on nothing more than a hunch, uncovered the hidden costs to ordinary investors in the $337 billion managed futures industry. His investigation found that one fund’s $490 million gain resulted in an $8.43 million loss for investors over ten-year period. Evans’ story won an award from the Society of Silurians and prompted the commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Bart Chilton, to call for regulations to improve disclosure rules. The CFTC later opened an official probe.

“Tungsten’s Tainted Trail,” published in Bloomberg Markets magazine in August, uncovered how sales of illegally-mined tungsten funded the FARC and ended up in products like BMWs, iPhones and BIC pens. The story also detailed the violent control the FARC wields over the region, forcing Puinawai Indians to pay for the right to mine before braving treacherous rapids and police patrols to deliver the tungsten to smugglers. When asked for comment on Bloomberg’s findings, Apple, Samsung, BIC and all of the luxury car companies named opened investigations into their supply lines. Colombian regulators said they would shut down the mine by force, if necessary. In addition to the Loeb award recognition, Michael Smith, Tim Culpan, Alex Webb, Anatoly Kurmanaev and editor Jonathan Neumann received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, which recognizes reporting on human rights and other social justice issues.

Bloomberg won two awards at the Human Rights Press Awards for our reporting in India and China. Our reporting on individuals in China blogging about corruption and raising money for rights activists and the families of jailed political dissidents received an English-language online prize. Bloomberg won a second award in the same category for reporting on child prostitution and the kidnapping of girls for forced marriage in India.

Bloomberg Businessweek won the National Magazine Award for best “Single-Topic Issue” for “Five Years From the Brink” (published September 16, 2013), their examination of the 2008 financial crisis.

Bloomberg’s “Broken Pledges” series on fraternity hazing at U.S. colleges revealed the power fraternities, their Washington lobby and wealthy alumni wield, blocking anti-hazing legislation in Congress and keeping the worst offenders on college campuses. As a result of our reporting, Trinity College’s president stepped down after learning Bloomberg was about to publish an article on the school’s hazing turmoil. Sigma Alpha Epsilon – one of the largest fraternities in the U.S. that was linked to at least 10 hazing, alcohol or drug-related deaths since 2006 – announced in March that it would ban pledging nationwide. The series was cited by numerous media organizations and received the Iris Molotsky Award from the American Association of University Professors.

We are honored to be recognized by our peers and congratulate our colleagues for continuing Bloomberg’s proud tradition of investigative journalism for the public good.