April 5, 2010
Emerson Brown, NPR
AS ONE OF THE TOP TEN WORKS OF JOURNALISM OF THIS DECADE
CHICAGO PUBLIC RADIO'S THIS AMERICAN LIFE AND NPR SHARE HONOR
FOR LAUDED EXPLAINER OF SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS
New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute announced today that "The Giant Pool of Money" was selected as one of the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade in the United States. "Giant Pool" is ranked fourth on the list and the only broadcast piece cited out of all ten works. The works were selected by the NYU journalism faculty and a panel of outside judges representing media, the non-profit sector, philanthropy and academia. The full list is available at: http://journalism.nyu.edu/decade/
"The Giant Pool of Money" was reported by NPR economics correspondent Adam Davidson, This American Life producer Alex Blumberg and host Ira Glass, and aired on that program in May 2008. With personal narratives and memorable storytelling, Davidson, Blumberg and Glass told the story of the housing crisis, mortgage backed securities and the collapse of the banking system in a way that made sense. The program was heralded as "a brilliant piece" by the Columbia Journalism Review, TIME wrote of "a riveting narrative with distinct characters and plot twists" and it earned Peabody, duPont-Columbia and George Polk awards. "Giant Pool" was cited by the Peabody committee as "impressive for the arresting clarity of its explanation of the financial crisis we're in, and even more so for its having aired so early in May 2008."
"'Giant Pool' forever changed how we approach storytelling. To take something so complex and make it relatable, even entertaining it struck just the right chord at the perfect time," says Ellen Weiss, Senior Vice President for NPR News. "We are incredibly humbled to be included among the works on this list, and thank NYU for such an honor."
The success of "Giant Pool" led to the creation of NPR's Planet Money, a multimedia reporting project led by Davidson and Blumberg, covering the global economy on radio and through a blog, podcast and social media (all available at www.npr.org/money). It launched, by coincidence, on the first day of the acute financial crisis September 7, 2008 and has since established itself as the place for clear and innovative financial reporting. The Planet Money team regularly reports for NPR and This American Life, has recently covered Haitis post-earthquake economy and is following the progress of its very own toxic asset purchased to help track how the housing bust is playing out.