Understanding Government is accepting submissions for the $50,000 Prize for Preventive Journalism. Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2008.
Understanding Government, the non-profit established by Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters, is offering a $50,000 prize to be awarded for the first time in 2008, called the Prize for Preventive Journalism. The goal of the prize is to encourage writers and editors to inform the public about serious problems before they become crises, reporting on potential breakdowns and disasters before they cause loss of life, environmental damage, or major social disruption.
The travesty that was the response to Hurricane Katrina, the faulty intelligence on WMD in Iraq, and the weak regulations that contributed to the subprime lending crisis all could have been corrected or halted with the help of preventive journalism. Thus, preventive journalism is investigative reporting and writing that analyzes wrong-headed policies, incompetent leaders, weak enforcement, and bureaucratic foul ups before they end in disaster. It includes discussion of potential solutions, including the role of government.