Reuters wins Polk Award for coverage of Elon Musk’s business empire By Reuters

Reuters wins Polk Award for coverage of Elon Musk’s business empire By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Gon

(Reuters) – The staff of Reuters has received a George Polk Award for its coverage of how Elon Musk’s manufacturing operations harmed consumers, workers and laboratory animals.

The prestigious Polk Awards, presented by Long Island University in the United States, honor special achievement in journalism, with a particular focus on investigative reporting in the public interest.

A global team of Reuters journalists was honored in the business reporting category for reports about Musk companies SpaceX, Tesla (NASDAQ:) and Neuralink.

The series of scoops and investigations exposed a mounting toll of worker injuries and one death at rocket builder SpaceX and mistreatment of laboratory animals at Neuralink, Musk’s brain-implant company. Other stories found that Tesla, the electric-car pioneer, covered up dangerous defects in steering and suspension parts; rigged its cars’ in-dash driving-range estimates; invaded drivers’ privacy by sharing sensitive images recorded by their vehicles; and made Tesla Insurance customers wait months for claim payouts.

The exclusive reports had broad impact, sparking investigations in the United States and Europe and calls for action from U.S. senators and congress members, along with several class-action lawsuits filed by consumers. Federal prosecutors launched a probe into whether Tesla inflated driving-range estimates after Reuters reported it had manipulated the algorithm in its vehicles’ range meters.

Other news organizations recognized with a Polk Award this year included ProPublica, honored for its coverage of secret gifts received by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from wealthy donors, and the New York Times, for its coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas.

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