2008

Brian Grow, Robert Berner and Keith Epstein: of Business Week for “The Poverty Business,” demonstrating that the sub-prime housing mortgage scandal is just the top of an iceberg as major companies, operating on the notion that “debt is the real product,” pry big profits from poor people.

Jarrett Murphy: of City Limits Investigates for “The Prisoners Dilemma: How NYC’s Bail System Puts Justice on Hold,” an expose of how bail as low as $200 for non-violent crime can confront economically disadvantaged people, who may well be innocent, with cruel choices.

Helen Benedict: writing in Salon.com about “The Private War of Women Soldiers”, a sensitively detailed expose of the excruciating existential dilemma of women soldiers in Iraq, threatened, not only by IEDs and car bombs, but by sexual assault from their own comrades and a code of silence that can close the way to justice.

Dahr Jamail: for independent Iraq reporting (DahrJamailIraq.com), closely covering the perspectives and experiences of ordinary Iraquis.

Jeremy Scahill: for reporting on Blackwater Worldwide in The Nation, where he laid bare the killings, human rights violations and other misconduct by the private security company that provides private security for American diplomats in Iraq, a story all the more important when an estimated 40 cents of every dollar spent in the Iraq occupation goes to war contractors.

Matt OBrien and photographer Ray Chavez: for “The Mayan Way” in the Daily Review of Hayward, California, a five-part series bringing to light the “hidden history” of the Kaqchikel Maya’s immigration to Hayward, a multi-dimensional picture as sensitive to the richness of the Mayan homeland and culture as to immigrant struggles in the economic prosperity of the US.

Marc Simont: a prize-winning children’s book illustrator, a “Cartoonist with a Conscience” for weekly graphic send-ups of fatcats and falsely pious pols submitted to his local paper, the Lakeville [CT] Journal (circ. 4,771) since the 1950s (Simont is 92.)