Seattle Times reporters have won two national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, for stories about the predatory practices of a mobile-home company and about the Navy putting parts of the Puget Sound shoreline off-limits to commercial development.
Seattle Times reporters have won two national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), one for investigative reporting, the other for work by a student journalist.
Investigative reporter Mike Baker was honored for his work on The Mobile-Home Trap, a series that exposed the predatory practices of Clayton Homes, part of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. The series was a collaboration with reporter Daniel Wagner of the Center for Public Integrity and later BuzzFeed News.
Among the series’ findings was that Clayton Homes’ in-house lender charged minority borrowers substantially higher rates, on average, than their white counterparts. Senior Democratic lawmakers have since asked federal regulators to investigate Buffett’s mobile-home company and its impact on minority communities.
Will Drabold, a summer intern from Ohio University on The Times’ investigations team, won for his story of how the U.S. Navy stealthily put thousands of acres of Puget Sound shoreline off-limits to commercial development.
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The judges of the SABEW awards wrote that Drabold “demonstrated extensive skills in research, investigative reporting and writing to come up with an eye-opening package with wide regional impact” and praised “a graphics team that helped explain the story visually. Nice work.”
Times staffers who contributed to the two award-winning projects include Ken Lambert, Garland Potts, Thomas Wilburn, Katie Cotterill, Lauren Frohne, Kelly Shea and Mark Nowlin.