12 The Morton Frank Award 2021

Clockwise from upper left: Sandy Tolan, Euclides Cordero Nuel and Michael Montgomery

Best international business news reporting in TV, video, radio, audio or podcast

AWARD DATE: 2021

AWARD NAME: The Morton Frank Award 2021

AWARD RECIPIENTS: Sandy Tolan, Euclides Cordero Nuel and Michael Montgomery

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, PRX and Mother Jones, with support from the Pulitzer Center

AWARD HONORED WORK: “The Bitter Work Behind Sugar”

AWARD SPONSOR: Marc Lemcke

This comprehensive investigation took listeners deep into the sugar cane harvesting camps manned by Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. Piecing together information from visits to 10 work camps (batayes), more than 100 interviews and numerous documents, the team traced sugar from the fields to American ports, sugar refineries and candy manufacturers. Their narrative was a strong, engaging probe into Central Romana Corporation, a privately held company controlled by the Cuban-American family, the Fanjuls. The story helps illustrate how the Fanjuls obscure, through offshore corporations, their ownership of the Dominican Republic’s largest employer and the largest importer of sugar to the U.S. The reporting, which has prompted scrutiny from Congress and the Department of Labor, documented workers enduring wages of $4 a day, staggering debt, substandard housing and woeful medical care while enhancing the company’s profitability.

Links to the winning work:

The Bitter Work Behind Sugar (primary submission), Reveal https://revealnews.org/podcast/the-bitter-work-behind-sugar/

Sweet and Lowdown: The High Human Cost of America’s Sugar Habit (supplementary submission, Mother Jones magazine) https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/09/sugar-central-romana-fanjul-dominican-republic/

“They Just Came and Started Breaking Houses” (supplemental link, Mother Jones, co-published with Reveal) https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/12/central-romana-sugar-hoyo-de-puerco-demolished/

US Congressman Bluemnauer Oversight Committee Letter: https://blumenauer.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/chairman-blumenauer-leads-ways-and-means-lawmakers-urging-biden-0

Citation for Excellence:
Robin Amer, Debbie Cenziper, Will Fitzgibbon and Ted Muldoon
The Washington Post and the
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
“A Tax Haven in America’s Heartland”