If good journalism is compelling, accurate, illuminating and transformational, then Tony Bartelme produces good journalism.
The Pulitzer Prize Board clearly agrees. It named The Post and Courier reporter one of this year’s top three contenders in the area of explanatory journalism for journalism’s most prestigious award.
His year-long series, “Storm of Money,” was judged on how well the journalist succeeded in demonstrating mastery of a complex subject and presenting it in a lucid way.
Property owners’ insurance is the complex subject that Tony took on, and he drilled down until he could find out secrets the insurance industry would like to have remained secret.
He explained why South Carolina homeowners pay such high insurance rates, and how insurance regulators let it happen.
As a result of his work, retirees and real estate leaders have formed a group to monitor the industry. And state lawmakers have started to take notice. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Hilton Head, has made the issue a priority, and is working on legislation to address the inequities revealed by the series.
This is Tony Bartelme’s second time as a Pulitzer finalist.
The designation recognizes his talent and determination to follow through on a challenging and complicated issue.
“Storm of Money” should prove to be a catalyst for needed change in the coastal property insurance industry in South Carolina and beyond, giving badly needed protection to consumers in the process.