2018 RFK Book and Journalism Award Winners

May 3, 2018 | New York — Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights celebrated World Press Freedom Day by announcing the winners of its 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Book & Journalism Awards. The winning book selection and first place winners in 13 categories as well as the Journalism Grand Prize winner and the John Seigenthaler Prize for Courage in Reporting will be honored at a ceremony on May 22 at 6:30 pm at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The 2018 Journalism Awards winners chronicled the experience of being a student of color in advanced high school classes, the epidemic of sexual harassment in media and entertainment and the increasing hostility to refugees in Europe. Their fearless exploration of controversial topics comes at a time of increasing government attacks on the press both in the United States and abroad.

The 2018 Book Awards honor Timothy Tyson for The Blood of Emmett Till and Peter Edelman with a 50th anniversary special recognition for Not a Crime to Be Poor.

Ethel Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy and Book Award Chair and emcee Michael Beschloss will present winners with their prizes.


“Journalists in the United States are under attack. Government officials have called reporters ‘enemies of the state’ and ‘the enemy.’ Reporters have faced attempts to limit the free press and to delegitimize the role of facts in public life,” said Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy. “We are proud to recognize those who expose injustice and hold our leaders to the highest standards of accountability.”


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

High School Print

One Incredible Goal”

Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri

Sarah Zimmerman

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

Print – Domestic


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

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

Photography – Domestic

“Maria’s Bodies”

New York Magazine

Matt Black

Photography – International

“Mexico’s Misery”

The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez, Joshua Partlow, Nick Kirkpatrick, and MaryAnne Golon


“Help Wanted: Alabama’s Rural Health Care Crisis”

Alabama Public Radio

Pat Duggins, Stan Ingold, and Alex AuBuchon

New Media

“Europe Slams its Gates”

Foreign Policy

Ty McCormick, Nichole Sobecki, Peter Tinti, Jill Filipovic, Cameron Abadi and staff


“Tom the Dancing Bug”

Syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication

Ruben Bolling, Andrews McMeel Syndication, Boing Boing, Daily Kos, and GoComics

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

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


Book Award

The Blood of Emmett Till

Timothy B. Tyson

Simon & Schuster

Special Recognition

Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Peter Edelman

The New Press

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About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.

Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards

Founded by the reporters who covered Robert F. Kennedy’s historic 1968 presidential campaign, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards honor outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy’s concerns, including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world. Winning entries in 13 categories provide insights into the causes, conditions, and remedies of human rights violations and injustice, and critical analyses of relevant policies, programs, individual actions, and private endeavors that foster positive change.

Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was founded in 1980 with the proceeds from Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s best-selling biography, Robert Kennedy and His Times. Each year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights presents an award to the book that, as Schlesinger said, “most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy’s purposes – his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity.”