RFK Book + Journalism Awards
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2018 JOURNALISM AWARD WINNERS

VIEW PAST HONOREES


High School Broadcast
“I Wasn’t Comfortable: Being a Student of Color in Garfield High’s Advanced Classes”
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Jessie Nguyen, Carlin Bills, and Surya Hendry

On the surface, the city of Seattle seems to celebrate diversity, but Seattle's Garfield High School tells a different story. From the effects of historic housing discrimination, to the current academic tracking program that separates Advanced Placement from "regular" classes, and the drama department's production of a Latinx play with a non-Latinx cast, current and former students talk about how racism manifests at the school.

High School Print
“One Incredible Goal”
Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri
Sarah Zimmerman

One school, a second home to refugees from across the globe, has only two years to prepare its students for life and education in the United States. One school, with little funding, has to meet the educational and personal needs of all their students. One school, full of students with multifarious backgrounds, has to work to overcome diverse cultural differences between both students in the school and out of the school. Following a typical day at the Nahed Chapman New American Academy, this story explores the transition for young refugees into American culture and gives insight to the realities and adversity the refugees face in assimilating into a new world, full of both obstacles and opportunity.

College Journalism
“Home Sick”
Capital News Service and Baltimore Urban Affairs Reporting Class
Mark Boyle, Quanny Carr, Michael Errigo, Abby Mergenmeier, Jenna Milliner-Waddell, John Powers, Talia Richman, Jacob Taylor, Naema Ahmed, Ana Hurler, Helen Lyons and Daniel Trielli

Students at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism's Capital News Service and Baltimore Urban Affairs reporting class, working in close partnership with Kaiser Health News reporters and editors, spent more than a year analyzing millions of medical records and conducting dozens of interviews with Baltimore health officials, community leaders and residents to show how subpar housing conditions contributed to high rates of asthma in one of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods. CNS data journalists conducted an analysis that found that residents in one low-income Baltimore ZIP code — a short distance from world-renowned medical institutions — suffer from asthma at more than four times the rate of people in the city’s wealthier areas.  Other student reporters spent months in neighborhoods lined with vacant homes, trash-strewn streets and housing in disrepair to talk with residents about how asthma affected their lives.  They that learned that asthma caused children to miss school, forcing adults to miss work or find care for their child. And, they discovered, there's little government funding to help pay for asthma treatment. Parts of the project from Capital News Service and Kaiser Health News were published by The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.

Print - Domestic
“Harassed”
The New York Times
Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, Emily Steel, Michael S. Schmidt, Susan Chira, Catrin Einhorn, Katie Benner, Rachel Abrams, Ellen Gabler, Susan Dominus, Jim Rutenberg, Steve Eder, Melena Ryzik and Cara Buckley

The New York Times uncovered the secret histories of prominent men across industries who were accused of sexual harassment and misconduct that affected women ranging from actresses to factory workers to food servers. These articles set off workplace investigations, criminal inquiries — and the #MeToo movement.

Print - International
“Rohingya Exodus”
Associated Press
Associated Press with the support of The Pulitzer Center. Todd Pitman, Kristen Gelineau, Robin McDowell, Esther Htusan, Muneeza Naqvi, Maye-E Wong, Rishabh Raj Jain, Bernat Armangue, Gemunu Amarasinghe and Dar Yasin

Days after the Myanmar military launched a deadly rampage against Rohingya Muslim villages in August, Associated Press journalists arrived in neighboring Bangladesh to witness an exodus that began with tens of thousands of men, women and children, and grew to more than 650,000 refugees.

In the sprawling camps across the Naf River and Bay of Bengal, the refugees revealed the unspeakable cruelty they had experienced. The stories and images of a people who have lost everything have seared the world’s conscience and are now being used by the U.S. State Department to investigate war crimes against the military leaders of Myanmar. As one Rohingya Muslim survivor of gang rape told us: “I’ve lost my husband. I’ve lost my country. I have nothing left. All I have left are my words.”

Photography - Domestic
“Maria’s Bodies”
New York Magazine
Matt Black

A devastated Puerto Rico tried desperately to provide basic services to residents two months after Hurricane Maria tore its way across the island.  43 days after the storm — between November 2 and December 3, 2017 — Matt Black captured the plight of Americans trying to put their lives back together after environmental catastrophe and an inadequate government response. Half of the island remained without power, and many were living without adequate housing, heat, potable water, food, or transportation.  Those needing special medical care were especially vulnerable:  though the official death toll was set 64, more than a thousand deaths were linked to the storm and its aftermath.

Photography - International
“Mexico’s Misery”
The Washington Post
Michael Robinson Chavez, Joshua Partlow, Nick Kirkpatrick, and MaryAnne Golon

Much of the reporting and photojournalistic coverage about violence and drug trafficking in Mexico has focused on what’s most visible – the flashy cartel figures like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the suffering of innocent victims.  

In 2017, The Washington Post set out to delve more deeply as homicides in Mexico surged to historic highs. What was the impact in Mexico of its soaring heroin exports to the United States? Why were murders spiking in places like Acapulco that weren’t drug-cartel strongholds? How was drug violence changing as traffickers increasingly targeted Mexicans as consumers?  

The resulting photographic coverage offered some of the most penetrating and thoughtful explanations yet of a phenomenon that is widely discussed — but little understood — by politicians and the public in the United States and Mexico. As one of the stories notes: “The term ‘drug war’ only barely describes what is going on here.”

Radio
“Help Wanted: Alabama’s Rural Health Care Crisis”
Alabama Public Radio
Pat Duggins, Stan Ingold, and Alex AuBuchon

On September 27, 2017, the Washington Post published an article about how only one half of rural hospitals in the U.S. can deliver a baby.

In rural Alabama, it’s barely a third.

The National Rural Health Association says Alabama is “ground zero” for most of what’s wrong with rural healthcare in the nation. Studies frequently list Alabama as having the highest infant mortality rate and the highest number of diabetics in the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau listed city of Gadsden, east of Birmingham, as having the lowest life expectancy in the country. Despite these trends, rural hospitals in Alabama receive among the lowest reimbursements from Medicare. The result is that 80% of these healthcare facilities are operating in the red. In the end, rural residents of Alabama frequently go without treatment. Some are reduced to seeking medical care from their veterinarians to avoid long lines or co-pays they can’t afford. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins, Stan Ingold, and Alex AuBuchon worked to shine a spotlight on this lack of healthcare in Alabama’s rural communities, and offer possible remedies.

New Media
“Europe Slams its Gates”
Foreign Policy
Ty McCormick, Nichole Sobecki, Peter Tinti, Jill Filipovic, Cameron Abadi and staff

Europe’s migration crisis isn’t over — it’s just beginning. With net immigration expected to exceed 1 million per year for the next five decades and xenophobia surging, European leaders are grasping for new ways to slow the influx. So far, their efforts have included tighter rules and enforcement at home, as well as multibillion-dollar development projects and support for African militaries, governments, and in some cases militias. Foreign Policy’s special investigation looks at the impact of all this on the aspiring migrants, their homelands — and on Europe itself, where the desperate drive to preserve stability and fend off populism risks undermining long-cherished values like openness, tolerance, and respect for basic human rights.

Cartoon
“Tom the Dancing Bug”
Syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication
Ruben Bolling, Andrews McMeel Syndication, Boing Boing, Daily Kos, and GoComics

“Tom the Dancing Bug,” by Ruben Bolling, is a weekly comic strip of social and political satire distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication to many newspapers, and appearing on the websites BoingBoing.net, DailyKos.com and GoComics.com.  The recurring themes of the comic strip in 2017, and indeed for years, have concerned vital issues of social and economic justice.  In particular, in 2017 the comic strip took on Donald Trump and the threat his presidency is to the underprivileged, women, immigrants, and minorities across America.  “Tom the Dancing Bug” was the 2017 winner of the Herblock Prize, and Bolling won the 2017 National Cartoonists Society’s Award for Best Online Comic Strip for his limited web series on TheNib.com about the rise of Trump, “Donald and John.”

Television - Domestic
“Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992”
ABC News, Lincoln Square Productions
John Ridley, Jeanmarie Condon, Fatima Curry, Melia Patria and Colin Rich

“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992” takes an unflinching look at the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, tracing its roots back a decade and unfolding its history as a series of very personal decisions and very public failures. The film weaves heartbreaking firsthand accounts from Angelinos of different backgrounds and classes, caught up in a cascade of rising tension, culminating in an explosion of anger and fear after the 1992 Rodney King verdict.

Television - International
“Iraq Uncovered”
FRONTLINE in association with Channel 4
Ramita Navai, Paddy Wells, Raney Aronson, Dan Edge, Andrew Metz, Eamonn Matthews, Monica Garnsey, Mais Al-Bayaa, Natalie Triebwasser, John Moratiel, Ella Newton, and Steve Audette

As Iraq has battled to rid itself of ISIS, Shia militia fighters have lined up alongside the Iraqi army to deal the final blow to the terrorist group. But their involvement has come at a cost. With rare access, Iraq Uncovered reveals the other side of the war against ISIS, investigating allegations of torture, murder and sectarian cleansing by the militias against their fellow Iraqis. At great personal risk, and often working undercover, the team travelled to areas no other Western journalists have reported from without an official escort since the war began. Correspondent Ramita Navai makes a dangerous and revealing journey inside the war-torn country -- a stunning look at a side of the war in Iraq that’s rarely seen, and at what may lie ahead.