Tom Wright wins 2020 Shorenstein Journalism Award

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) has awarded journalist and author Tom Wright the 2020 Shorenstein Journalism Award for excellence in coverage of the Asia-Pacific region.

Tom Wright
Tom Wright. (Courtesy FSI)

Wright started his career with Reuters in Indonesia in the 1990s at a time when Gen. Suharto’s military dictatorship was crumbling. During the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, he joined Dow Jones Newswires in Bangkok, later moving to the Wall Street Journal, where he most recently served as Asia economics editor. He has investigated corruption in Indian companies and the failure of the U.S. civilian aid program for Pakistan, and was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the raid in which Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. His 2013 award-winning series on the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 people, exposed how international garment manufacturers turned a blind eye to safety violations to reduce costs. He is the co-author of Billion Dollar Whale, which unravels the story of the looting of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

“Throughout his career, Tom Wright’s consummate reporting and persistent investigations have repeatedly shone a light on major Asian affairs and the complicity of Western institutions in the affliction of corruption in Asia,” said GI-WOOK SHIN, Shorenstein APARC director. “His work embodies an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of truth and to advancing a critical consideration of both Asian and Western societies. We are delighted to recognize him with the Shorenstein Journalism Award.”

Eighteen journalists have previously received the Shorenstein award, including most recently Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of Rappler; Anna Fifield, the Washington Post’s Beijing bureau chief and long-time North Korea watcher; Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire; Ian Johnson, a veteran journalist with a focus on Chinese society, religion and history; and Yoichi Funabashi, former editor-in-chief of Asahi Shimbun.

Information about the 2020 Shorenstein Journalism Award ceremony and panel discussion featuring Wright will be forthcoming in the fall quarter.

Learn more about the Shorenstein Journalism Award.

Read the full article on the Freeman Spogli Institute website.