Last year, more than a dozen automakers recalled over 60 million vehicles in the United States alone. In part, this was thanks to a multiplatform series of news stories that revealed industry-wide neglect of safety defects in vehicles.
Danielle Ivory ’05 of The New York Times worked on a team that spent 10 months reporting the series, titled “Fatal Flaws,” which recently won a Scripps-Howard award for public-service journalism.
Starting with an article in March 2014, the Times revealedthat auto regulators had dismissed a defect that has since been tied to 13 deaths and reported that G.M. had misled grieving families on a lethal deflect in their cars. The series went on to detail the “untold heartache” suffered by the families of the victims “whose deaths General Motors has linked to an ignition switch defect that can cause a loss of power in cars. In September 2014, they exposed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal regulatory agency, had over the past decade been “slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies.”
In their comments, the judges praised the series’ “exhaustive reporting, damning detail and expert analysis,” as well as the “the incisive, emotional quality of every story, headline, graphic, photo and caption.”
“Thirteen lives lost. Millions of affected consumers. And an auto manufacturing Titan laid low. This is the New York Times at its best,” the judges wrote.
Ivory was a history major at Princeton, and also pursued certificates in European cultural studies and the program in theater and dance. After graduation, she studied at the University of Oxford for her master’s degree. She joined the Times in late 2013, where she covers the intersection of business and government. Prior to joining the Times, she was a reporter for Bloomberg News and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund and a senior fellow at the Bill Moyers Journal.