The $35,000 award honors the year’s outstanding work in investigative journalism that led to direct results.
“In more than 100 stories over a year, the Newsday reporters uncovered and documented pervasive pension abuses, double-dipping by retirees and lavish spending by employees and retained lawyers of the little-noticed special districts that spend many millions of taxpayers’ money to provide services like water hookups and trash collection,” the judges wrote in their commendation, citing the breadth of the revelations and the resulting reforms.
“From story to story and one special district to another, their investigation grew organically to include statewide laws and practices,” the judges wrote. “Within months, the New York state legislature unanimously passed a pension-reform package and other legislation to address the abuses uncovered by Newsday. State government departments also changed rules and stepped up enforcement to end specific instances of corruption.”
"Rooting out corruption requires tenacity and dedication, and the team from Newsday exhibited those traits in abundance," said Geneva Overholser, director of USC Annenberg's School of Journalism. "Their work and the many other worthy entries show that investigative reporting -- so critically important to our nation -- continues strongly in cities across the country. We cannot assume that this will always be true. We are delighted that the Selden Ring Award serves to support and encourage this vital work."