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Ohio University leaders hand out journalism award
McDavis, Shepherd award Farfel Prize to WSJ investigators

ATHENS, Ohio (April 23, 2007) -- Ohio University leaders and the Scripps Howard Foundation rewarded crusading journalists who sniffed out and exposed stock options shenanigans, awarding them the Farfel Prize on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. 

Four reporters from The Wall Street Journal will share the $25,000 cash prize for their more than 100 stories exposing the scandal, which cost 70 executives their jobs.

"It's the right thing to do, to expose stealing by people who are in positions of authority," said Mark Maremont, one of the reporters and an editor on the series.

Maremont, along with Charles Forelle, James Bandler and Steve Stecklow, examined how companies such as Comverse and UnitedHealth backdated stock options given to top executives. Backdating, when executives receive stock options fraudulently dated at a time when the price was low, led to several indictments and prompted one former executive to escape to Africa. 

The reporters received the awards during the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards at the National Press Club.  The Farfel Prize is given in cooperation with Ohio University's Scripps College of Communication.  Ohio University President Roderick McDavis and Scripps College of Communication Dean Greg Shepherd were on hand to present the award.

Ursula Farfel and her husband Dr. Gilbert Farfel established the Farfel Prize with a $500,000 gift in 2001.  The award encourages investigative reporting.  Ursula Farfel graduated from Ohio University in 1956 with degrees in German and psychology.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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