Five remarkable pieces of journalism that combined aggressive reporting on important issues with care for the consequences of that reporting are finalists for the 2018 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.
The 2018 recipient will be chosen from among five outstanding examples of journalism that displayed careful consideration of ethical dilemmas and courageous reporting, said Lucas Graves, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication and chair of the Shadid Award judging committee. The finalists are:
· Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press. “Rohingya Methodically Raped by Myanmar’s Armed Forces” is a look at atrocities documented through interviews done in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Gelineau “faced a constant internal battle between journalistic objectivity and humanity,” according to the nominating letter.
· Brian Grow, John Shiffman and the Reuters team. “The Body Trade” exposes the industry that dissects, rents and sells the bodies of the recently deceased. During interviews with family members of those who had donated their bodies, Grow “set aside the instincts as an intrepid reporter and relied instead on his own ethical compass, showing the families his respect for their loss and his understanding of the difficult choices many of them made,” according to the nominating letter.
· Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikery, Associated Press. “Inside Yemen’s Secret Prisons” found evidence of torture and other abuses in secret prisons across southern Yemen, run by the United Arab Emirates, an ally in the U.S. fight against al-Qaida. “The choices that our journalists face on the ground are difficult, but we were proud of the innovative thinking on the part of Michael and al-Zikery, as they figured out ways to keep sources safe and innovate methods to still come up with compelling storytelling,” according to the nominating letter.
· Mike Rezendes, The Boston Globe. “Father, My Father” explored the pain and neglect experienced by unacknowledged sons and daughters of Catholic priests around the world. “Rezendes spent months gently educating these men and women that their stories would have vastly more impact if they allowed their names and life stories to be used — as long as they discussed their choice with family members in advance,” according to his nominating letter.
· Gerry Shih and Han Guan Ng, Associated Press. “Digital Police State Shackles Chinese Minority” details the repression and surveillance of Uigher communities in western China, as well as their recruitment by extremist groups in Syria and elsewhere. “Shih and Ng were exceedingly mindful of the potential risks people in this region face and sought to the greatest extent possible not to cause harm in the process of uncovering this important – and often underreported – story,” according to the nominating letter.
“The finalists this year include some of the most important investigative and accountability journalism of 2017,” Graves said. “The reporters and editors involved in these stories exemplify fearless reporting married to careful, thoughtful ethical judgment based on a dedication to minimizing harm without compromising the obligation to bring the truth to light.”
The winner will be announced Feb. 20.
The recipient will be presented the award at a ceremony April 5 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Thomas Friedman, the veteran foreign affairs writer for The New York Times, will discuss “From Beirut To Jerusalem to Washington: Reflections on 40 years of Middle East Reporting” in a keynote conversation at the event. Event registration opens Feb. 20 at go.wisc.edu/shadid2018.
The Shadid Award honors journalists who, individually or as a team, exhibit a strong commitment to ethical journalism by acting with integrity, honoring ethical principles in their practice or resisting pressure to compromise ethical principles.
This award is different from most other journalism awards because it recognizes the story behind the reporting and editing of news. While the final story or stories are important, the Shadid Award focuses on the ethical aspects of excellent journalism and the difficult decisions journalists and editors make to balance the interests of sources, subjects and the public.
Past winners of the award include a team of Associated Press reporters whose investigative reporting resulted in the freeing of 2,000 slave laborers used by the fishing industry in Southeast Asia and reporters and photographers at the Chicago Tribune whose revelations about serious abuses in Illinois’ juvenile justice system brought about reforms.
To read the stories chosen as finalists and their entry nominations, visit the Center’s website at ethics.journalism.wisc.edu.