For a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single article or series, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine, for a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. (Moved by the Board from the Feature Writing category.)
Awarded to Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News for their resourceful reporting that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad, resulting in an FBI probe and the review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Michael Moss and members of The New York Times Staff for relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues that, in print and online, spotlighted defects in federal regulation and led to improved practices (Moved by the Board to the Explanatory Reporting category), and Michael Braga, Chris Davis and Matthew Doig of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for their in-depth reporting and computer analysis that unraveled $10 billion in suspicious Florida real estate transactions, triggering local and state efforts to curb abuses.