The award will be presented virtually by Michael Ford, son of President Ford
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – May 14, 2020 – T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose, Robert Faturechi, and Agnes Chang, all of ProPublica, and Michael C. Bender of The Wall Street Journal have received the 33rd Gerald R. Ford Journalism Award for their reporting efforts in 2019. Additionally, Joel Schectman and Christopher Bing, journalists at Reuters, were given honorable mentions for the award’s Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.
Miller, a senior reporter for ProPublica; Rose, a criminal justice reporter; Faturechi, an investigative reporter; and Chang, a creative story technologist, were each honored for their distinguished reporting on National Defense. Bender, senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal, was recognized for his distinguished reporting of the Presidency. The $5,000 awards recognize journalists whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better public understanding of National Defense and the Presidency.
This year, the awards will be presented virtually by Michael Ford, son of President Gerald R. Ford and chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.
The judges said ProPublica’s reporting about the series of ship and aviation accidents that befell the Navy’s 7th Fleet and Marine Forces Pacific in 2017 and 2018 painted a riveting story of individual tragedies and the systemic institutional neglect and leadership shortcomings that helped lead to them.
“Their reports captured these catastrophic events and their aftermath from the perspectives of the sailors and airmen involved, who were under immense pressure to maintain grueling operational tempos, all the way up to the highest levels of the Department of the Navy where leaders struggled with crippling budget, resource allocation, and national strategy concerns, as well as, the 7th Fleet leadership that was caught in the middle,” they said. “ProPublica’s conclusions serve as a warning to the other military services where similar erosions in funding, maintenance, and leadership could lead to similar consequences. The ProPublica team’s collective product is an excellent example of the values of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize.”
When awarding Bender with the award, the judges said he “set a consistently high standard of reporting on the presidency, taking readers inside the White House and the Trump political operation as they battled possible removal from office while plotting a course for the president’s reelection.”
“In this eventful and challenging environment, journalist Michael Bender, with deep sourcing and balance, provided insightful accounts of division in the White House over the border declaration; the president’s decision to reject a retaliatory strike against Iran; the 2020 campaign strategy now taking shape; and the July 25, 2019, phone call that led to the president’s impeachment, trial, and acquittal. Covering Mr. Trump since the summer of 2015, Mr. Bender has provided a valuable chronicle of the president, his team, and the movement that has reshaped American politics and national policy.”
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation sponsors the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and National Defense to recognize and encourage thoughtful, insightful, and enterprising work by journalists covering the presidency and national defense.
About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.