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NYFWA Names ProPublica Journalists Winners of 2023 Impact Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism; April 11 Event

New York, NY, February 21, 2024 –The New York Financial Writers’ Association announced today that ProPublica reporters Justin ElliottJosh Kaplan, Brett Murphy and Alex Mierjeski have been named winners of the 2023 Impact Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism. The award is for a series of articles investigating conflict of interest, failed oversight and ethical indiscretions at the nation’s highest court. The series is titled, “Friends of the Court: Scotus Justices’ Beneficial Relationships With Billionaire Donors.”  

The ProPublica investigation, which totals more than 20 stories thus far, has unveiled the intersection between financial power and judicial power in America at the highest levels. It shows how four billionaires and other ultrawealthy businessmen have bought exclusive access to the nation's most powerful court –the Supreme Court– by spending potentially millions of dollars on exotic vacations, private jet trips, real estate deals and other financial benefits primarily for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Samuel Alito also vacationed on a luxury Alaska salmon fishing trip as the guest of a billionaire whose company had frequent cases before the Supreme Court. Both justices failed to disclose these gifts. The billionaires include real estate tycoon Harlan Crow, hedge fund executive Paul Singer, entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga, and oil baron Tony Novelly.

The impact of public scrutiny stemming from the ProPublica series spurred the Supreme Court to announce in November its first code of ethics in its 234-year history and Justice Thomas to amend some of his disclosure forms. The series also sparked a Senate Finance Committee investigation into the tax filings of billionaire Crow, including whether he properly disclosed to the IRS some gifts to Justice Thomas. The Crow tax probe also has increased overall public scrutiny and calls for reform regarding how the ultrawealthy report taxes, including billionaires’ common practice of skirting tax laws by claiming business deductions on their pleasure yachts.

Award Presentation

The award will be presented to ProPublica on April 11. Following the award presentation, members of the winning team will take part in a panel discussing the story behind their series of articles –from how they reported and found their sources, to where they found key data and how they dealt with the billionaires and officials at the Supreme Court.

NYFWA’s Impact Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism Award honors a distinguished story or body of work by reporters whose work spurred change, irrespective of when the story or stories were published. The award honors stories that have a demonstrable impact on the world, whether by spurring investigations, changing laws or holding the powerful to account. 

Founded in 1938, NYFWA is the oldest organization of its kind devoted to advancing business and financial journalism. NYFWA awards scholarships to journalism students interested in business and financial reporting, hosts book talks, networking events, training sessions and other events aimed at helping business and financial reporters improve their craft and advance their careers. For more information, visit or email