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Tampa Bay Times reporting team named finalists for Goldsmith Prize

Their series exposed dangerous conditions inside Florida’s lone lead smelter. The winner will be announced in April.
Tampa Bay Times reporters, from left, Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray are among the six teams of finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, administered at Harvard University. The winner will be announced April 5.
Tampa Bay Times reporters, from left, Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray are among the six teams of finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, administered at Harvard University. The winner will be announced April 5. [ BOYZELL HOSEY, DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Mar. 9|Updated Mar. 9

A Tampa Bay Times reporting team has been named one of six finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for exposing dangers at a Tampa lead factory and the surrounding community.

Reporters Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray were recognized for their “Poisoned” investigation, a series that prompted government investigations, steep fines, a credit downgrade and increased regulatory scrutiny of Gopher Resource, which operates the state’s only lead smelter. The project was completed with support from PBS FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which provided partial funding and consultation.

Related: Read the full Tampa Bay Times "Poisoned" investigation

The six finalists were named by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, which administers the prize at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. The winner will be announced at a ceremony April 5.

Other finalists are:

  • “Wires and Fires,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reporters Raquel Rutledge, John Diedrich and Daphne Chen.
  • “Juvenile Injustice,” Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN News with ProPublica, reporters Meribah Knight and Ken Armstrong.
  • “Sacrifice Zones,” ProPublica and Texas Tribune, reporters Lylla Younes, Al Shaw, Ava Kofman, Lisa Song, Max Blau, Maya Miller, Kiah Collier, Alyssa Johnson and Ken Ward.
  • “FEMA’s Disasters,” The Washington Post, reporters Hannah Dreier and Andrew Ba Tran.
  • “Unresponsive,” The Wichita Eagle, reporters Chance Swaim and Michael Stavola.

The six teams of finalists each receive $10,000, and the winner will receive a $25,000 prize.

The Times was a finalist for the award last year for an investigation into a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office program that harassed residents without probable cause, and also in 2016 for a series exposing how Pinellas County schools abandoned integration and then deprived predominantly Black schools of resources.

Related: Support more journalism like "Poisoned" by donating to the Times
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