Issue

Global Goods, Local Costs

Behind almost every product we buy and the GDP numbers we worry over, there is a story whose trail crosses the globe. Every physical product starts as raw material somewhere, from the gold in our jewelry to the shrimp at our favorite restaurant and the minerals within our mobile phones and laptops.

The rapid industrialization of countries like India, China and Brazil and a voracious consumer culture in Europe, the United States and Japan mean ever greater demand for these raw materials—and ever greater pressures on the individuals, communities and environments that bear the cost of providing them.

These local costs too often remain hidden. They are obscured by companies and governments that put a premium on production and exports. They are little understood by consumers, whose concept of "price" and "value" does not include damage done to people and places far away.

Global Goods, Local Costs is an effort to make those connections plain, to show the true costs of producing the commodities that have become essential to our lifestyles but that we mostly take for granted. These reports touch on goods and challenges across the globe that share a common theme: the implications of a vision of endless prosperity set against the reality of a finite planet.

Global Goods, Local Costs

Round Two: Winning Essays

In May 2008, the Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its second round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Find the winning essays here.

Loretta Tofani Wins Michael Kelly Award

Loretta Tofani has won the 2008 Michael Kelly Award for her series "American Imports, Chinese Deaths."

The $25,000 award "honors a writer or editor whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth." (Michael Kelly Award Press Release) Tofani was chosen from over 50 journalists for 2007 work published in U.S. newspapers and magazines.

Loretta Tofani Wins Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting

Loretta Tofani won the 2007 Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism for "American Imports, Chinese Deaths" published in The Salt Lake Tribune.

She won in the category of investigative reporting (circulation of 100,000 or greater). This year's winners were chosen by the Society of Professional Journalists from more than 1,000 entries of work published in 2007 in 48 categories including print, radio, television and online. The awards will be presented July 11 during the annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Loretta Tofani Wins IRE Gold Medal

Loretta Tofani's "American Imports, Chinese Deaths" series was awarded the 2007 Investigative Reporters and Editors' Gold Medal for medium sized newspapers.

Round One: Winning Essays

In March 2008, The Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to launch its first round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Contest. Find the winning essays here.

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