Tampa Bay Times reporter Ivan Penn was among those honored Tuesday at the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism in New York City.
It is just the second time the Times has won the prestigious award, established in 1957 by Gerald Loeb, financier and founding partner of E.F. Hutton.
Penn, 44, won the beat reporting category for stories on the proposed Levy County nuclear complex and the broken Crystal River nuclear plant.
A cornerstone of Penn's contest entry was a three-month-long economic analysis that compared the Levy project with a comparable natural gas facility, using thousands of pages of state and federal records. The reporting showed that the natural gas facility would be cheaper than the Levy plant over a 60-year period and under virtually any scenario. Since the stories ran, Duke Energy permanently closed the Crystal River plant and halted construction on the Levy complex.
"This is among journalism's highest honors, but the real gratification is knowing that Ivan's relentless reporting brought an issue of great importance to the attention of the citizens of Tampa Bay," said Times editor Neil Brown. "That's the mission of the Tampa Bay Times, and we appreciate the recognition of that."
The other finalists in the beat reporting category were the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.