From Investigative Editor Jeff Leen:
A Washington Post team has won a prestigious international data journalism award for exposing a predatory system of debt collection that allowed private investors to take homes from the poor over small tax debts.
The Global Editors Network announced Thursday that the Post team had won the 2014 Data Journalism Award for Best Data-Driven Investigation for the series, “Homes for the Taking.” The team consisted of Debbie Cenziper, Michael Sallah, Steven Rich, Ted Mellnik, Emily Chow, Laura Stanton and Michelle Williams.
The 2013 series documented how the District government placed liens on tax delinquent properties and then sold the liens to investors, who added fees and foreclosed on some of the properties over original debts as small as $44. Wide-reaching reforms followed the publication of the series.
The global data awards, sponsored by Google and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, were announced at network’s global summit in Barcelona. The network’s membership represents media groups from more than 80 countries.