Mar 24, 2015 · 1 minute

When David Sirota was at Pando, he focussed on exposing corruption and abuse in the pensions industry. Not only did his coverage force PBS to return $3.5m to one of its donors but it also prompted one of Chris Christie's allies to threaten a $300m lawsuit against Pando and Sirota.

Now Sirota's work, here and at IBT, has earned him the annual "Izzy" award for his coverage for "outstanding achievement in independent media and journalism." The award is named after legendary journalist I.F. "Izzy" Stone.

From the press release announcing the award, which Sirota shares with journalist Naomi Klein:

Maverick investigative journalist David Sirota published dozens of exposés in 2014 on corruption in our country’s $3 trillion pension system. These abuses hurt taxpayers and government employees while rewarding Wall Street firms that fatten politicians’ campaign coffers. His dogged reporting on this rarely examined topic – first for PandoDaily and later for International Business Times – shed a critical spotlight on powerful officials of both major parties (from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie). The result: mainstream media attention, official investigations, passage of legislation and changes in government practices.

In one exposé [published on Pando] headlined “The Wolf of Sesame Street,” Sirota revealed that New York’s public TV station accepted a $3.5 million donation from a billionaire anti-pension activist to fund coverage of the pension issue. The station was forced to return the money; PBS’s ombudsman wrote of “ethical compromises in funding arrangements” that “nobody really knew until Sirota wrote about it.” Congratulations, David!

(Follow David's latest pensions investigations here on IBT)

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman for Pando]