Our Voices

Documentary on Northshore Recovery School Wins RFK Journalism Award

The MTV documentary that chronicled a year in the life of Northshore Recovery High School students and their struggles with addiction has won a 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

The four-part series, “16 and Recovering,” was directed and executive produced by Steve Liss, a filmmaker who lives in Beverly, with help from students at Endicott College. Liss, who also won an RFK award in 2007 for his photographs of children in juvenile detention in Texas, described “16 and Recovering” as “the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done.”

“This is the bravest, kindest group of young people that I’ve ever encountered and this award is a testament to the strength and courage of the students at Northshore Recovery High,” Liss said.

The RFK Journalism Awards were founded by the reporters who covered Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign to honor reporting on issues such as human rights and social justice. Past winners include the Washington Post, NPR, 60 Minutes and ProPublica.

This year’s awards were presented on June 3 in a virtual ceremony hosted by RFK Human Rights president Kerry Kennedy and historian Michael Beschloss. The award for “16 and Recovering” was for the Domestic Television category and was presented by broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien.

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