Two Forward writers won a prestigious Society of Professional Journalists award for a series of investigative stories into former White House aide Sebastian Gorka’s ties to far right wing groups in his native Hungary.
Forward writers Larry Cohler-Esses and Lili Bayer won the Sigma Delta Chi prize in the category of Investigative Reporting by a non-daily publication.
“We are grateful that our courageous reporting has been recognized by our peers,” said editor-in-chief Jane Eisner. “Larry and Lili worked diligently to uncover disturbing facts about Gorka’s past that all Americans should know. This was a team effort and showed the impact of our journalism.”
Gorka was serving as a top counter-terrorism aide in the White House last year when Cohler-Esses and Bayer started probing his past links to groups that once sided with the Nazis during World War II.
Bayer, who is based in Hungary, tracked down members of the group, which claimed that Gorka was a sworn member of the group.
Gorka denied that claim, although he praised the group as “nationalists” and often appears with a pin that signifies his allegiance to it. Other stories exposed Gorka’s years of unseemly involvement in far right wing politics in Hungary, where he was born.
Gorka was ousted from his White House position last summer, shortly after his political mentor, Steve Bannon, was also fired.
Among other winners of the awards for stories published in 2017 were the San Francisco Chronicle for its coverage of the wildfires in the California wine country and the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the mass shooting at a country music concert.