Business and finance journalism is a specialty of the writing profession which is of utmost importance to anyone involved in business, investing, or even just trying to save money in a simple savings account in their local bank.Just as freedom of the press is one of the most important checks protecting democracy and freedom, so too ethical and courageous business reporting makes it possible for people to understand the world of finance that they are a part of so that they can make better choices about their hard-earned money.With this idea in mind a man named Gerald Loeb, who wrote several books on investing during the difficult financial times of the Great Depression, established an award which he hoped would “encourage journalists to inform and protect private investors as well as the general public,” especially in the areas of business and finance.The Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism was first established in 1957, recognizing two winners in 1958. The award then expanded to three winners until 1973, when the UCLA Anderson School of Management took over administration of the award, which is sponsored now by the G. and R. Loeb Foundation. Ten journalists are recognized as winners in ten separate categories.Even recognition as a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award is prestigious, as in the instance of financial writer Zachery Kouwe. Zachery Kouwe became famous for his reporting for the New York Times on the infamous Ponzi scheme of Bernard L. Madoff in 2009. Kouwe also reported on the massive insider trading going on within the Galleon Group hedge fund and its founder Raj Rajaratnam.Jack Dolan, Matthew Haggman and Rob Barry shared the Gerald Loeb award in 2009 in the category of ‘medium and small’ newspapers for the article they wrote for the Miami Herald entitled “Borrowers Betrayed.” This meticulously researched piece of journalism was a four part series exposing the rampant fraud within the home loan business sector. The investigation conducted over an 8 month period revealed that Florida had handed over mortgage broker licenses to more than one thousand convicted felons. An additional two thousand felons were allowed to work as loan originators, no license needed.It is easy to see how journalists like Dolan, Haggman, Barry and Zachery Kouwe bring a great benefit to society; and recognition like the Gerald Loeb Award is a small way for society to say thank you.
Dan Kazan has had years of experience writing for some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the USA. He was one of the first pioneers in bringing the news online and has focused most of his recent energies into making Left Justified the high quality online news and opinion site which it is.Dan can be reached at dankazan(at)leftjustified.com.View all posts by Dan Kazan →