The panel of judges for the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics is honored to select five remarkable entries as finalists for the 2019 award.
The 2019 recipient will be chosen from five outstanding examples of journalism that married courageous reporting and careful consideration of ethical dilemmas, said Lucas Graves, associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication and chair of the Shadid Award judging committee. The finalists are:
- Julie K. Brown and Emily Michot, Miami Herald. “Perversion of Justice” was a three-part series examining how a wealthy hedge fund manager – accused of molesting and sexually assaulting hundreds of underage girls – was able to manipulate the U.S. justice system to help cover up the scope of his crimes and keep his victims in the dark. According to the nomination, the reporters had to earn the trust of victims who had been traumatized not only by Jeffrey Epstein, but also by the justice system and the news media.
- Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press. “The Innocents: How U.S. immigration policy punishes migrant children” was a year-long investigation into the Trump administration’s family separation policy and included stories on tender age shelters, alleged abuse in shelters, the abuse of a Honduran teen, adoption of migrant children, the scope of the migrant kids program, the billion-dollar industry of detaining immigrant children, and the waiving of FBI checks for staff at a teen migrant camp. According to the nomination, this AP team prioritized the welfare of the children they interviewed while also “[holding] those in power accountable for immigration policies that are punishing the most vulnerable.”
- Hannah Dreier, ProPublica. “A Betrayal” tells the story of a teenager and MS-13 gang member who became a government informant, only to face death threats and deportation after federal agents reneged on a promise to protect him. According to the nominating letter, Dreier “balanced the imperative to expose bad policies and abuses of power against the danger to a teenager’s life.”
- David Jackson, Jennifer Smith Richards, Gary Marx, Juan Perez, Jr., Chicago Tribune. “Betrayed” is an investigative series that exposed Chicago schools’ failure to protect students from sexual abuse and assault. According to the nominating letter, Jackson and team “applied journalistic standards honed over years of investigating sexual violence against vulnerable people” to “for the first time [quantify] the staggering prevalence of sexual violence against students in a large U.S. school district.”
- Maggie Michael, Nariman El-Mofty, Maad al-Zikry, Associated Press. Throughout 2018, these reporters investigated the atrocities occurring during Yemen’s war, publishing “Yemeni prisoners say Emirati officers sexually torture them,” “Ex-inmates: Torture rife in prisons run by Yemen rebels,” “Children as young as 10 fight, kill and die in Yemen’s war” and “AP investigation: Food aid stolen as Yemen starves.” According to the nomination letter, the AP reporters “braved dangers and faced tough ethical questions as they fought to tell stories that the world heard from no other source.”
“We had a rich and diverse field of applicants this year, from a high-school newspaper in Connecticut and an investigative nonprofit in the Middle East, to top national and regional outlets in the United States,” Graves said. “That included many examples of powerful reporting that navigated tough ethical challenges, and we’ve got an exceptionally strong list of finalists to consider.”
The winner will be announced March 14 and will receive the award at a ceremony May 14 at the University Club in New York City.
The Shadid Award honors journalists who exhibit a strong commitment to ethical journalism by acting with integrity, honoring ethical principles in their reporting or resisting pressure to compromise ethical principles.
This award is unique in recognizing the ethical challenges journalists face in their work, including the difficult decisions reporters and editors make to balance the interests of sources, subjects and the public.
Recent winners of the award include a team of Reuters reporters who exposed the industry that dissects, rents and sells the bodies of the recently deceased and a group of Associated Press reporters whose investigative reporting resulted in the freeing of 2,000 slave laborers used by the fishing industry in Southeast Asia.