2011 Loeb Award Application: Blogging

I thought some readers may find it interesting to see the applications I submitted for this years’ Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. The award is sponsored by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Last year I was a finalist in the Blogging and Online Commentary Category. They’ve rearranged and added categories this year and so I decided to submit in two:  Blogging and Beat Reporting.  I put up the Beat Reporting submission in this post.

January 30, 2011

To the Judges:

re: The Auditors, a self-published one-woman blog, is a specialized news site that covers the business of the Big 4 audit firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The accounting industry is my beat and it’s my passion. It’s a beat that has not been covered consistently by full-time assigned reporters at any major U.S. daily newspaper or general business magazine.

I’ve selected five blog posts that I hope demonstrate the importance of in-depth and consistent coverage of the accounting industry. This blog had its fourth anniversary in October of 2010. When I started the site many questioned whether there was an interest or an aptitude for “boring accounting stuff” outside of a small niche audience. Interest in the role of the accountants/auditors in the regulatory structure and in the scope of their influence on banks, in particular, has grown during the financial crisis.

I am gratified be able to raise awareness of the role and responsibilities of the auditors during this troubled period. Audit firms such as Ernst & Young are again in a harsh spotlight in a way not seen since the Enron scandal because of failures such as Lehman Brothers.

re: The Auditors is a true community. I’ve received thousands of comments on the posts, moderate each one personally in order to maintain the tone and tenor of the community, and participate fully in responding to inquiries. The readers come from all over the world and from all the professions. I am especially pleased by subscriptions, regular readership, and feedback from the legal community, academics, regulators, and industry professionals at the highest levels of the accounting firms. I’ve also enjoyed interaction with the professional business journalism community, including selection by the Poynter Institute for their inaugural seminar on “Critical Tools for the Non-Traditional Journalist”.

This blog and its author have been quoted extensively this past year in breaking news stories published by other publications such as the St. Petersburg Times, American Banker, Reuters, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek. I have been asked to do videos by The Street.Com and been linked to by other prominent finance blogs. My coverage has been cited positively by the Columbia Journalism Review several times and by specialized legal publications and online journals.

The articles selected for this application represent examples of leading-edge, point-of-view journalism: fiercely original, extensively researched and linked, and relentless. I believe these five blog posts represent the audience I serve, the wide range of topics and issues that are covered, and the relevance of this coverage to business and financial news and opinion. During this difficult but exciting time for business journalists, I am thrilled to be covering an area with so much potential for original and thought provoking opinion and analysis.

I am proud to nominate re: The Auditors for a 2011 Gerald Loeb Award for Blogging.


Francine McKenna

Managing Editor

re: The Auditors.com

Five blog posts from 2010 that represent the audience I serve, the wide range of topics and issues that are covered, and the relevance of this coverage to business and financial news and opinion.

The Great American Financial Sandwich: AIG, PwC, and Goldman Sachs

The Auditors And Financial Regulatory Reform: That Dog Donʼt Hunt

Watch Banks Pull Rabbits Out of Hats, Ably Assisted by Their Auditors

New York Court of Appeals Stands By Corporate Man: In Pari Delicto Prevails

Big 4 Bombshell: “We Didnʼt Fail Banks Because They Were Getting A Bailout”