March 16, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS WINS JOAN SHORENSTEIN BARONE AWARD
FOR EXCELLENCE IN CONGRESSIONAL
AND POLITICAL AFFAIRS REPORTING

NPR HONORED FOR "DOLLAR POLITICS" SERIES EXAMINING
HOW LOBBYING INTERESTS INFLUENCE MAJOR BILLS

March 18, 2010; Washington, D.C. NPR News is being honored with the 2010 Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based reporting of Congressional and political affairs for a series about how money and access have taken on an oversized role in the legislative process, it was announced last night. "Dollar Politics" presented a multimedia examination of the intersection between money and politics, and what it could mean for public policy, through an innovative combination of reports from NPR correspondents Andrea Seabrook and Peter Overby, an interactive panoramic photo and audience engagement to help identify those in the picture. The full series is available at NPR.org.

Millions of dollars poured into Capitol Hill this past summer, as lobbyists jockeyed to have their clients' interests represented in three major pieces of legislation that were just beginning to take shape. The object of the lobbyists' attention: massive bills on health care, banking regulation and energy.

As part of NPR's endeavor to explain this lobbying effort, Seabrook and Overby produced a series of six reports broadcast on All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Their stories followed the trail of political money and profiled key lobbyists while also showing how members of Congress are affected by the system, by sifting through campaign contribution data and lobbying disclosure forms.

In support of Seabrook and Overby's reporting, an NPR photographer pointed a camera at the audience in the Senate hearing room to identify the men and women working to influence the legislation. An interactive graphic was created with the picture and audiences were asked to help identify the people in the image by contacting NPR via email and through social media like Twitter.

The Joan Shorenstein Barone Award is in honor of the former CBS "Face the Nation" executive producer and is presented for excellence in Washington-based reporting on Congress and politics. The Award is presented by the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association at its annual dinner. Video of Andrea Seabrook and Peter Overby accepting the award on behalf of NPR can be seen here.