2020 Awards

The 2020 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting could not be announced as it normally would be, in front of a packed house at the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School. We know this was disappointing for so many who looked forward to celebrating the finalists and winner this year. However, our new physically-distanced reality doesn’t mean we can’t still honor their incredible work. We are excited to release this video announcement and celebration of this year’s winner and five finalists. Please watch and share widely so we can lift up these exceptional works of investigative journalism.

Every year at the Goldsmith Awards Ceremony we also celebrate a leading figure in journalism and media with the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism. This year’s honoree was Kathleen Carroll, longtime reporter and Executive Editor for the Associated Press, who successfully oversaw one of the world’s largest independent news agencies through a period of intense change in the industry. Though the 2020 awards ceremony had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to honor Kathleen’s accomplishments and contributions to journalism, and to celebrate her extraordinary career with this tribute.

Ceremony Date

March 23, 2020


The Goldsmith Prizes are funded by an annual gift from the Goldsmith Fund of the Greenfield Foundation.

2020 Award and Prize Winners

  • Winner, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

    Copy. Paste. Legislate.

    The winner of the 2020 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting was “Copy. Paste. Legislate” by the staffs of The Arizona Republic, USA TODAY, and the Center for Public Integrity. The collaborative reporting team conducted unprecedented computer analysis of legislation in all 50 states to reveal 10,000 bills that were copied nearly word-for-word from text written by industry groups, lobbyists and political activists, often to benefit big business at consumers’ expense.

    View the story
  • Winner, Goldsmith Career Award

    Kathleen Carroll

Finalists for Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize

  • Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

    The Afghanistan Papers/A Secret History of the War

  • Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

    Fleeing Justice

  • Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

    Silent Killer

  • Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

    Hidden Harm

  • Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting



Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center, chaired the meeting. Judges recused themselves from voting on entries from their employers. The 2020 Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize judges were:

Daffodil Altan

Investigative producer and correspondent, PBS FRONTLINE; former producer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program; 2019 Goldsmith Prize finalist for “Trafficked in America”

Scott Berinato

Senior editor at Harvard Business Review; author of Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualizations

Sarah Cohen

Knight Chair in Data Journalism, Cronkite School, Arizona State University; winner of the 2009 Goldsmith Prize for “Forced Out,” and 2006 Goldsmith Prize finalist for “Harvesting Cash”

Michael Duffy

Opinions editor at large, Washington Post; former deputy managing editor of TIME Magazine; winner of the 1998 Goldsmith Prize for “Abuse of Campaign Finance Laws”

Mike Greenfield

Trustee of the Greenfield Foundation (financial supporters of the Goldsmith Awards Program); Co-Founder and CEO of Change Research

Priscilla Painton

Vice President and Executive Editor, Simon & Schuster; former deputy managing editor, TIME Magazine

Sacha Pfeiffer

Correspondent for NPR’s Investigations team, former investigative reporter for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team; winner of the 2003 Goldsmith Prize for “Crisis in the Catholic Church”

Todd Wallack

Data journalist and investigative reporter for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team; Nieman-Berkman Klein fellow in Journalism Innovation; 2015 Goldsmith Prize finalist for “Shadow Campus”

Setti Warren

Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center; former Mayor of Newton, MA