Associated Press Investigative Reporter, Jeff Horwitz Awarded The 2018 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize
The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business at Columbia Journalism School today named Jeff Horwitz, an investigative journalist for The Associated Press, as the 2018 recipient of its annual Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, for path-breaking and persistent reporting on the Paul Manafort saga.
In choosing Mr. Horwitz, the Knight-Bagehot Advisory Board noted how the AP articles were the first to report on Mr. Manafort, who was campaign chair for presidential candidate Donald Trump, overseeing an illegal covert lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C. That global enterprise reporting set in motion a chain of subsequent articles, by the AP and others, eventually setting the stage for Mr. Manafort’s tax fraud and unregistered foreign agent cases.
In August, Mr. Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to report foreign bank accounts. He also pleaded guilty to an additional two counts of conspiracy, per a plea deal in which he also agreed to cooperate with the ongoing Special Counsel investigation of Robert Mueller.
“We’re delighted to recognize Jeff’s work, which truly embodies why deeply reported business and financial journalism has been so front and center in covering President Trump and his campaign, as well as his administration,” said Raju Narisetti, director of the Knight-Bagehot program. “It also illustrates the vital need to continue to support and enhance robust business journalism practices and skills, at a time when journalism and journalists are under attack.”
The Welles Award honors the memory of Christopher J. Welles, a former director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, who was considered “ the premier business writer” from the 1960s to the ‘80s, for his penetrating accounts of “shenanigans, abuses and downfalls.”
Indeed, after Horwitz’s work was published one of Mr. Manafort’s clients sued the AP, even taking out a full-page ad in The Washington Post to try discredit the reporting. The suit was later dismissed and the AP stories furthered confirmed by documents later used in the Manafort trial.
“Jeff’s reporting was core to this whole line of coverage, and in many instances it was the centerpiece,” of work by several AP reporters, notes Brian Carovillano, managing editor, AP.
The award will be presented on October 25 at the Knight-Bagehot 43rd annual celebration in New York, an event that helps raise awareness and funds for the Bagehot Fellowships. A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times will keynote the event, in an on-stage conversation with Kara Swisher, technology columnist, co-founder of Recode and Columbia Journalism School alumna.
Mr. Horwitz, 37, was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University in 2013-14 and a graduate of the M.A. program at Columbia Journalism School where, he says, he encountered his very first Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Mr. Horwitz, who is based in Washington, D.C., previously was a staff reporter for The Washington City Paper, The San Bernardino Sun, Legal Times and American Banker.
The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship offers experienced journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics, finance and technology, as well as gain a strong understanding of the business of journalism itself, in a full-time program administered by the Columbia Journalism School.
The fellowship is named for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami, which established an endowment for the program, and Walter Bagehot, the 19th-century editor of The Economist. Applications for the 2019-2020 Fellows are now open. To learn more about the program visit: https://journalism.columbia.edu/kb
About Columbia Journalism School
For more than a century, the Columbia Journalism School has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications. It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Mike Berger Awards. Journalism.columbia.edu
Chantal De Soto