updated 1/20/2011 8:19:07 PM ET 2011-01-21T01:19:07

PHOENIX, Jan. 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Donald Barlett and James Steele, two acclaimed investigative journalists, will be honored for distinguished achievement at the 48th annual national conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers April 7-9. Barlett and Steele will receive the Society's highest honor, the Distinguished Achievement Award, at ceremonies in Dallas, announced Greg McCune, chair of the selection committee.

The two have worked together for more than three decades, first at The Philadelphia Inquirer (1971-1997), where they won two Pulitzer Prizes and numerous national journalism awards, then at Time magazine (1997-2006), where they earned two National Magazine Awards. They now write for Vanity Fair magazine as contributing editors. They also have written seven books.

Their 1992 Inquirer series, "America: What Went Wrong?" was named by the New York University School of Journalism as one of the 100 best pieces of journalism of the 20th century.

"Investigative reporting teams have been reduced across the country in the media transformation and we wanted to remind the media community how important it is to have beacons of good, hard-hitting investigative journalism," McCune said. "Their work as a team over nearly four decades has been truly outstanding."

The Distinguished Achievement Award winner is chosen by a committee of the three most recent past presidents of SABEW, the vice president of the organization and one at-large member chosen from the SABEW board. The committee included past presidents McCune, Gail DeGeorge and Bernie Kohn, Vice President Kevin Noblet and board member Ray Hennessey.

"The selection of Barlett and Steele should be viewed through one additional filter," said Rob Reuteman, current SABEW president.

"The Distinguished Achievement Award is not given out every year. Last year, the nominating committee did not reach consensus, and no award was given. This year, they were a clear winner, and we look forward to hearing from them at our annual conference."

Established in 1993, the award singles out individuals who have made a significant impact on the field of business journalism and who have served as a nurturing influence on others in the profession.

Hobart Rowan of The Washington Post received the first Distinguished Achievement Award in 1993. There have been 18 recipients since.

Go to www.sabew.org for more.

The SABEW logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8526

CONTACT: Executive Director Warren Watson
         watson@sabew.org, (602) 489-5186

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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