- Photo of the Year
- Reporter of the Year
- Enterprise Reporting of the Year
- Video Story of the Year
- Scoop of the Year
- Best Storytelling Innovation
- Editor of the Year
- Graphic of the Year
- The Baron Award
- Video Journalist of the Year
- Photo Journalists of the Year
- Commentary and Analysis of the Year
- Desk Editor of the Year
- Story of the Year
Photo of the Year
Kim Il-sung Portrait
Damir Sagolj delivered outstanding pictures from his exclusive trip to photograph the hunger crisis caused by floods in North Korea. This was a unique opportunity to see beyond the usual government-controlled trips to the country. This image of rows of blank, featureless buildings illuminated by a single lit portrait of Kim Il-sung beautifully illustrates the control exerted by the former leader over the country. This image won a first prize at the World Press Photo Contest, has been featured on numerous Pictures of the Year slideshows and has been widely published.
Reporter of the Year
Ben Lim’s stories frequently set the agenda for the Beijing press corps. This year, Ben made full use of his high-level contacts to produce a string of major scoops, ranging from China’s plans to bail out local governments to its plans to build two new aircraft carriers.
The news of Beijing’s plan to tackle its $1.7 trillion local government debt problem came as a surprise even to Chinese government ministries – China’s banking regulator later called Reuters asking for additional details. The story was confirmed a month later. Ben also reported on China’s new top financial regulators ahead of the official announcement.
In November, Ben reported that China’s top leaders, miffed at the EU’s unwillingness to offer concessions to China, were leaning away from providing direct aid to help with the euro zone crisis.
Outside of China, Ben also had the first major scoop following the death of Kim Jong-Il, citing a senior North Korean source to report that the country’s new leader would share power with his uncle and the military.
Enterprise Reporting of the Year
The team led by Brian Grow
Shell Games is a multi-part investigation that traced the myriad ways that U.S. laws enable corporations to operate secretly.
As he sought the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama called for greater corporate transparency around the world. His criticism focused on the forgiving laws of countries outside the U.S.—from Switzerland to the Cayman Islands. In a multi-part series called “Shell Games,” Reuters revealed equally egregious practices on America’s own shores, where business incorporation laws in some states are more lax than those of Somalia.
Reuters investigations traced the myriad ways that U.S. laws enable corporations, international and domestic, to operate secretly within the country—sometimes protecting themselves from exposure, sometimes insulating themselves from alleged wrongdoing, sometimes perpetrating scams that have bilked millions from U.S. taxpayers.
The stories required fortitude and ingenuity that went far beyond what regulators have shown and generated substantial impact. “Nevada’s Big Bet” and “A Little House of Secrets” caused the Secretaries of State of Nevada and Wyoming to pledge to change state laws to more tightly regulate shell companies. “Nevada’s Big Bet on Secrecy” was the principal reason for the formation of a new Corporate Ownership Fraud Task Force in Nevada to investigate shell companies and the firms that form them. “The Bonds that Turned to Dust” caused the launch of criminal fraud inquiries in Italy and the U.K. “Mediscam” spurred members of the U.S. Senate to demand Medicare officials do more to hunt down shell companies. Excerpts from “A Little House of Secrets” were cited on the U.S. Senate floor in August as evidence why a national law to rein in shell companies was necessary.
Video Story of the Year
Conventional wisdom was that Egyptian President Mubarak would be able to contain any pro-democracy protests spilling over into Egypt following the ouster of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Yet, as the protests swelled, Reuters Television crews swung into action with round-the-clock coverage in Cairo, Suez, and Alexandria. Teams were brought in to reinforce the local bureau, working under extremely difficult communication, security and political circumstances. The cutting of internet and phone lines hampered communications and video delivery, but armed with satellite phones, Reuters was able to put out a stream of Live coverage of protests, clashes and military activity. It was not uncommon to see BBC, NBC, CNN and al-Jazeera using Reuters Live feed simultaneously, and Reuters Live shot of Tahrir Square became one of the iconic shots of the revolution. As the uprising spread across the country, a Reuters stringer in the Sinai captured some of the most influential video of the story, including footage of police shooting a Bedouin protester dead. Reuters close proximity to Tahrir Square allowed for exclusive Live video of fighter jets buzzing the square and a 45-minute lead when ElBaradei arrived to address the crowd. Playing a sometimes delicate game with security forces, Reuters was able to maintain coverage while focusing on safety and logistics to bring one of the top stories of the year to the world's broadcasters.
Scoop of the Year
Capturing the Gaddafis
Samia Nakhoul & Marie-Louise Gumuchian
The Libyan revolt was one of the most momentous chapters in the Arab Spring uprisings. Reuters journalists were on the ground from Day One, delivering dispatches from the frontlines and breaking news of the capture and killing of key figures in the Gaddafi regime.
Middle East Editor Samia Nakhoul was the first to report on Muammar Gaddafi’s capture, followed by breaking the news of his death. Samia tapped her own sources to get the news which was cited by media outlets all around the world.
Over the following weeks, Reuters broke news of Gaddafi’s son Saif’s drawn-out negotiations to surrender. When he was finally caught, Marie-Louise Gumuchian tapped her rebel contacts and got aboard a flight to the desert location where Saif was being held, pinned down the story of how the rebels had trapped him and then spun together a rich narrative of the final days of the regime’s last holdout—all under real-time news deadline pressure and harsh conditions.
Best Storytelling Innovation
A Social Media Timeline
Anthony De Rosa
Anthony De Rosa joined Reuters as social media editor in July and immediately began pushing the boundaries of journalism, experimenting with new technologies to tell stories locally and internationally through the use of social platforms. Notably, two projects – the coverage of the Arab spring uprising and the London riots through social sources – established a new storytelling form by tracking reporting from all available sources in real time.
By curating the “ambient wire,” Anthony and his team identify where news is happening and apply the same rigors of verification that the Reuters Trust Principles demand.
Anthony’s work has attracted the attention of his peers in technology and journalism. NBC New York named him one of the “20 individuals who shape the local conversation.” He is a frequently quoted expert in new journalism and has taught classes across the country, most recently at Stanford.
Editor of the Year
Reuters Editor Mark Bendeich exhibited exceptional leadership in driving coverage of the $1.7 billion accounting fraud at Olympus Corp, a story that ranks as one of Japan’s worst corporate scandals.
Under Mark’s leadership, Reuters revealed the key transactions, personalities and conflicts of interest that lay hidden behind a thick cloak of denial and accounting trickery at Olympus, and clearly analyzed how and why such a once-proud blue chip firm resorted to cooking the books for two decades. In addition, Reuters gave readers deep insights into wider implications of the scandal, such as the questions and challenges it posed for Japan’s corporate governance, its corporate culture, for the global auditing industry and for investor confidence in the wider Japanese market. Reuters has called on reporters in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, New York, Detroit, Miami, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands to produce an unrivalled nine exclusives, a dozen analyses and two Special Reports that profiled the backroom dramas that led to the sacking of Olympus CEO Michael Woodford and his decision to blow the whistle.
Mark’s leadership was also felt in coverage of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Reuters was the first among international news organizations with news of the quake, first with Japan's warning of the impending tsunami, and first with Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency confirming a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Over the next three weeks, Reuters produced a series of 10 Special Reports covering various themes of the disaster: the economic impact in a debt-laden economy, rebuilding challenges in an aging society, disruptions to the global supply chain, and mismanagement over Fukushima.
Graphic of the Year
Peter Thal Larsen, George Hay and Vincent Flasseur
Peter Thal Larsen, George Hay and Vincent Flasseur developed an interactive calculator that shows how many banks would fail if debt owed by the most indebted countries was written off. The calculator attracted positive feedback from international financial authorities and Thomson Reuters customers. It was featured on The Financial Times’s Alphaville site and BBC’s Newsnight.
“The application manages to convey a very complex idea in a very simple device — you just slide the bar to see the outcome on an individual customer, or on the whole euro zone,” says Vincent.
The graphic draws on hard data published by regulators in July. “We knew we were crunching real numbers,” says Peter, “and we were totally confident in our calculations.”
The calculator is particularly innovative because it changes the relationship with the customer. Instead of “passive” or “read-only” content, clients can interact with the application to change the view or result of a calculation, enabling them to participate in the story and acquire self-generated insight.
The Baron Award
The Baron Award is designed to honor the individual who best exemplified the Reuters tradition of integrity and journalistic excellence in 2011. The inaugural winner of the Baron Award, Paul Taylor, has been a dedicated leader and mentor in Reuters coverage of this year’s Story of the Year winner, the Euro Zone Crisis.
In his more than three decades at Reuters, Paul has served as a correspondent and bureau chief in multiple countries across Europe and the Middle East. In his current role as an editor in Paris, he was in the prime position to play a key role in Reuters euro zone coverage.
Not only was Paul instrumental in writing and building key sources for Reuters coverage, he took it upon himself to educate others on the reporting team on the complicated intricacies of the issue. Paul exhibited incredible dedication throughout the year as the story unfolded, leading the charge for agenda-setting news and insight into this complex story. Paul never wavered in his integrity and journalistic excellence as the crisis heated up, and he always led by example.
For these reasons and more, Paul has exemplified what the Baron Award is meant to honor—upholding the oldest and most important of Reuters traditions of integrity, excellence, and dedication.
Video Journalist of the Year
Lutfi Abu-Aun made outstanding contributions in 2011 as a producer, cameraman and team leader for Reuters coverage of the Arab Spring. In Cairo, Lutfi set up Reuters first Live shot overlooking Tahrir Square, the gathering point for thousands of protesters opposed to the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. He also played a significant role in the coverage of the armed revolt against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In the initial stages of the uprising, Lutfi managed a team of reporters in Tunisia documenting the exodus of foreign workers from Libya. When the United Nations and NATO acted to protect civilians in Libya by imposing a no-fly zone over the country, Lutfi spent several weeks in government-held Tripoli working under severe reporting restrictions imposed by authorities. He was one of only two television reporters to cover the aftermath of the first NATO airstrike against the vast Gaddafi compound, Bab al-Azizia, in Tripoli.
Photo Journalists of the Year
Damir Sagolj and
During the early days of the tsunami coverage in Japan, when the fear of radioactive contamination was high due to shifting winds and little official information, Damir Sagolj took over as the leader of the Reuters multimedia team in the field. He was responsible for all of the logistics, transportation, coverage and safety for a team of 30+ journalists, not to mention keeping them calm and confident that a system was in place to escape danger if the winds shifted. Damir not only managed to accomplish these tasks successfully, but he also shot great images daily, provided exclusive quotes for Reuters reporters and captured moving television footage. It should also be noted that Damir was the first Reuters photographer to file significant tsunami and earthquake pictures, TV and text from the ground.
Damir also worked tirelessly to produce a major win on the months-long Thailand floods story and scored exclusive photos and video from inside the prison used to house war criminals in The Hague.
In between all of that, Damir scored outstanding pictures from his exclusive trip to North Korea to cover the hunger crisis. A photo he captured while on this trip won in the Photo of the Year category.
When word of uprisings in the Middle East reached Goran Tomasevic, he was in southern Sudan capturing photos of the independence referendum. He raced back to Cairo to cover what would be the start of one of the most momentous years for the Arab world. Goran’s outstanding coverage of events in Tahrir Square and Libya produced a number of widely-published, iconic pictures. In Libya, Goran covered the story in and around Benghazi, as well as around Sirte towards the end of the Gaddafi regime.
In between his two lengthy assignments in Libya, he also covered the independence festivities in Southern Sudan.
Goran, 42, has been covering conflicts for half of his life. Achieving this coverage never gets easier. He was assaulted by police and worked under extremely difficult circumstances in order to play a crucial role in covering some of Reuters top stories in 2011.
Commentary and Analysis of the Year
Sooner or later, many of the biggest issues confronting consumers, business and finance make their way to court. This crucial nexus between law and commerce is Alison Frankel’s beat, and in 2011, it was one she commanded with great authority. Alison set the coverage agenda on everything from the legal fallout over the mortgage crisis to judicial oversight of the financial regulators in charge of preventing another meltdown.
Alison Frankel’s “On the Case” blog on Thomson Reuters News and Insight is updated multiple times throughout the day. A founding editor of Litigation Daily, she has covered big-ticket litigation for more than 20 years. Alison's work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, The American Lawyer and several other national publications. She is also the author of Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World’s Most Valuable Coin.
Desk Editor of the Year
In 2011, Chizu Nomiyama demonstrated confidence, dedication and overall competence - most notably exemplified by her standout work during the crisis in Japan. Reinforcements capable of reporting and desking stories were desperately needed following the earthquake and tsunami, and Chizu’s dedication and efforts were extraordinary.
Chizu joined Reuters in Tokyo in 1990 and worked there as an equities reporter until 1992. From September 1992 to August 1993, she participated in the year-long Reuters graduate trainee program and then returned to Tokyo to work as a capital markets reporter. In 1997, Chizu became a financial markets reporter in London and in 1999 moved to the World Desk there. The next year, she shifted to the desk in Washington and in 2007 transferred to the economics & markets desk in New York.
Story of the Year
Euro Zone Crisis
The 2011 euro zone crisis presented the threat of another global recession. As the world’s biggest trading bloc staggered from one emergency summit to another, Reuters broke news at critical junctures and investigated the failure of European leaders to stanch the crisis.
The immediate cause of the crisis was a loss of confidence in the ability of heavily indebted nations to repay their debts. Economics soon mixed with politics. As the crisis spread from Greece and Ireland to Portugal and elsewhere, and drew in powers like the United States and China, it strained the very foundation of the European Union. As the crisis unfolded, geographical reach, depth of sources and political and financial expertise made Reuters the must-have news service for decision-makers and informed citizens around the world.
Reuters dominated the coverage by breaking major news about Europe’s response to the crisis and producing a string of in-depth reports that illuminated why the Continent was failing to come up with a coherent response.