Acohido, 52, is skilled at demystifying complex topics. He’s been a working journalist since three days after graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 1977. He cut his teeth as a cub reporter for The Herald, a medium-sized daily newspaper in
In 1987, Acohido accepted a business reporting position at the Seattle Times, and began covering the Boeing Co., spending much of his time focusing on emerging aviation safety concerns. He completed major investigations on aging jets, weak cargo door locks, defective thrust reversers, weak engine mounts, ultra complex computerized flight controls, malfunctioning rudders and combustible fuel tanks. In the early 1990s, Acohido began tracking problems with the Boeing 737 rudder controls linked to a 1991 fatal crash in
Despite obstacles thrown up by Boeing and by federal regulators, Acohido in October 1996 produced a five part series, Safety at Issue: the 737, illuminating how lax government oversight combined with aggressive posturing by Boeing obscured a deadly design flaw in the 737’s rudder. Less than 24 hours after the series was published, Boeing admitted for the first time finding a serious problem with the rudder system, and announced plans to replace the suspect part with a redesigned component on all 737s at a cost of more than $140 million.
The 737 series generated more than 500 phone calls to a special reader response line. Positive responses outnumbers negative ones 2 to 1, and the Seattle Times also received scores of letters and email expressing appreciation for the series. “Your work over the past two years has caused Boeing to stand up and listen,” wrote Ernest Germano, of
Acohido’s 737 series was awarded 11 major journalism awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting; the George L. Polk Award for transportation reporting; the Worth Bingham Prize for investigative reporting; the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting; The Edgar A. Poe award for excellence in reporting a story of national significance; the 63rd Headliners Award for public service; the Investigative Reporters & Editors Award for national reporting; and the Associated Press Managing Editors public service award.
Swartz, 45, is an award-winning technology reporter who possesses an uncanny knack for unearthing the extraordinary, whether it be a key data point, a telling anecdote or a knowledgeable source. A 1983 graduate of
At CommunicationsWeek, he specialized in coverage of the emerging local-area networking (LAN) market and won accolades for his stories on IBM’s efforts to circumvent industry standards on LAN technology. Swartz moved on to become a reporter and editor at MacWEEK, a pioneering publication where he regularly broke stories on turmoil within Apple Computers’ executive ranks.
In addition, Swartz and his wife lived for 15 months in London, where he worked for a MacUser UK and freelanced for London dailies, such as the Times, Independent and Daily Telegraph. In 1996, the Chronicle brought him on board as a technology reporter, assigning Swartz to ramp up the paper’s coverage of Apple and an emerging phenomenon—the Internet. In 1997, the Chronicle nominated Swartz’s revelatory Internet stories for a Pulitzer Prize in Beat Reporting. Swartz is the author of Young Wealth: Trade secrets from teens who are changing American business (Rooftop Publishing/September 2006).