Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing recognizes Memory, Inc. from The Post

Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing recognizes Memory, Inc. from The Post

Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) awarded The Washington Post’s Memory, Inc. with a Best in Business Award in the Health/Science category. The project – which also won an honorable mention in the Investigative category – found that patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive problems walk away from assisted-living facilities just about every day in America, a pattern of neglect by an industry that charges families an average of $6,000 a month for the explicit promise of safeguarding their loved ones. Since 2018, more than 2,000 people have wandered away from assisted-living and dementia-care units or been left unattended outside, and nearly 100 people died — though the exact number is unknowable because no one is counting.

The judges shared, “This series of articles maps out an underreported area of the health-care industry that impacts so many American families at some point in their lives. Each article is compelling and reported deeply and with great care and sensitivity. Particularly impressive is the surveillance video obtained while reporting. By documenting the financial failures of the segment, the series casts a harsh light on the U.S. health-care industry as a whole. It also underscores the lack of regulation and penalties faced by facilities and their owners when dementia patients wander off. The articles spurred the Senate Special Committee on Aging to action, which demanded information from the leading companies in the segment and scheduled a hearing.”

In addition, The Post took home five other Honorable Mentions in the large publication category:

  • The Post’s Drew Harwell was recognized for Best Range of Work for stories about OnlyFans, Truth Social and Discord, among other stories.
    • Judges’ comment: Wonderfully written and well-reported features on a wide range of topics! The OnlyFans piece might be one of the most fascinating articles the judges have read from 2023.
  • The Post’s coverage of the UAW strike was recognized in the Breaking News category.
    • Judges’ comment: This entry did a great job at showing multiple different perspectives, with strong front-line reporting that covered a variety of formats and told the story for different audiences.
  • The Post’s “Clean Cars, Hidden Toll” was recognized for International Reporting.
    • Judges’ comment: A true series from the Washington Post in its conception and presentation. EVs have been touted as a solution to beat back our need for fossil fuel guzzling transportation – but at what cost? How much do we really know about how and where our EV batteries are produced? The series seeks to answer the above as the journalists take the reader on a journey to otherwise inaccessible parts of the globe to uncover the true cost of the current industry from forced labor to dangerous mines, to help action real change and prevent history repeating itself. In one of many heart-wrenching moments, the series put us in the shoes of an Indonesian farmer named Liyut, who was eager to show dead trees and a river running red to the visiting government official in charge of the nickel mines – but the minister never came to his village.
  • The Post’s story about how right-wing news powers the ‘gold IRA’ industry was recognized for Investing and Markets Reporting.
    • Judges’ comment: Strong reporting on this barely-regulated industry, which preys on the elderly by using right-wing scare tactics. Good investigation.
  • The Post’s Tesla coverage was recognized in the Travel and Transportation category.
    • Judges’ comment: The Washington Post’s series on Tesla’s safety issues raises troubling questions about the company’s development of its Autopilot technology, as well as the lack of government oversight and consumer protections for Tesla owners, passengers, pedestrians and other drivers. The judges also felt that the graphics and reconstruction of Jeremy Banner’s crash were innovative and illuminating, highlighting the split-second decisions that led to his Tesla’s deadly impact with a truck. Their reporting clearly demonstrated how Tesla could make simple changes to its technology that would have saved lives and underscored that the company’s philosophy of driver responsibility fails to account for the impact on other drivers and bystanders injured in Autopilot crashes.

The winners will be recognized next month at SABEW’s annual conference in Chicago. The full list of winners is available here.

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