Contest Entries

2008 Body of Work

Entrants: Angie Marek

Affiliation: SmartMoney

Beat Reporting

Year: 2008

Place: Third Place

"Peddling Pills" examined the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical sales reps, and detailed unethical behavior directly witnessed by the reporter.

For "Under the Knife," Marek visited dozens of physicians and successfully bargained down the out-of-pocket costs for several surgeries and cosmetic procedures. She also gave readers a glimpse into the world of office finance managers who authorize such discounts.

"Live Longer," a cover story, looked at what Marek referred to as "health investors," a collection of consumers who spend lavishly each year on their health, often buying everything from vitamin-infused elixirs to exhaustive analyses of their DNA. Marek asked if all this spending was actually lengthening their lives, and at what cost.

In "The Hidden Cost of Retiring Early," Marek shared the stories of Americans who retire before qualifying for Medicare and then have trouble finding health insurance on the individual market.

Judges' comments: Angie Marek demonstrates fine writing and considerable range within the confines of her health and personal finance beat. From her inside look at the close connection between drug reps and doctors, to her service piece on negotiating a lower price on health care, she informs her readers with thorough reporting and an engaging style.

Read Marek's stories:

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.