Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Announces 2022 Book and Journalism Awards Winners

NEW YORK, MAY 24, 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today announced the winners of its 2022 RFK Book and Journalism Awards during a virtual ceremony emceed by Michael Beschloss with remarks by Kerry Kennedy and featuring special guest presenters Kimberly Adams, Dan Blackburn, Doug Brinkley, Margaret Engel, Annette Gordon-Reed, John Harwood, Van Jones, Rory Kennedy, Michael Lewis, Jane Mayer, Ari Melber, Craig Melvin, Soledad O’Brien, Symone D. Sanders, and John Seigenthaler.

Winners of the 2022 RFK Journalism Awards were selected in student and professional categories from over 350 entries across print, broadcast, and new media categories, encapsulating some of the most exemplary reporting from the past year. Among them:

  • The Miami Herald, in collaboration with ProPublica, won this year’s Domestic Print Award and was also named the Grand Prize Winner for its investigative project, Birth and Betrayal, which examines the systemic and inhumane treatment by the State of Florida of families with disabled children.

  • The New Yorker won the International Print Award for Ghost Walls, a chilling picture of not just oppressive state authority but of the way the state’s actions can warp a society and target a minority for abuse and erasure based on little more than prejudice and half-baked fears.

  • The Los Angeles Times won the International Photo Award for its depiction of the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, a compelling first draft of history.

  • Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Missouri won the High School Broadcast Award for The Talk, an unscripted and honest conversation about Black teenagers’ perceptions in society.

This year’s Book Award winners are “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee and “America on Fire” by Elizabeth Hinton. A powerful exploration of inequality, “The Sum of Us” analyzes how racism in our politics and policymaking has shaped the American economy and failed the American public —and offers a new vision for our future. “America on Fire” presents a new framework for understanding our nation’s broken criminal legal system, tracing the untold history of police violence and Black rebellion since the 1960s.

Launched in 1969 by the journalists who covered Kennedy’s presidential campaign, the prestigious RFK Journalism Awards celebrates media professionals whose work explores issues of human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action. The Book Award was founded in 1980 with the proceeds from Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s bestselling book, “Robert F. Kennedy and His Times.”

“A fair and free press remains one of the greatest bulwarks of democracy, and the commitment to protect civic space is at the core of what we do at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Each year, it becomes more difficult and dangerous to be a journalist, and we’re proud to support their ongoing work to speak truth to power.”

The full list of honorees for the 2022 RFK Book and Journalism Awards can be found below. Special thanks to historian and author Michael Beschloss, head of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award committee, and Margaret Engel, director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation and chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards committee, as well as the more than 50 volunteer judges who participated this year. We are especially grateful to Mortimer B. Zuckerman, whose support made this year’s ceremony possible.


High School Print and New Voices for Justice Award

Unlivable Wages

The Globe of Clayton High School

Owen Auston-Babcock

High School Broadcast

The Talk

Hillcrest High School

Jaela Burris

College Journalism

Being Black in Lincoln: The Series

The Lincoln Journal Star

Trinity Saez, Victoria Baker, Zach Wendling, Jaqueline Martinez, Evelyn Mejia, Dillon Galloway, Nick McConnell, Jason Han, Lauren Penington, Erika Jensen, and Nia Johnson

New Media

Airstrikes Gone Wrong

The New York Times

Staff of the New York Times

Domestic Print

Birth and Betrayal

The Miami Herald

Carol Marbin Miller and Daniel Chang

International Print

Ghost Walls

The New Yorker

Raffi Khatchadourian


Mississippi Goddamn: The Ballad of Billey Joe

Reveal from the Center for Investigative Journalism & PRX

Al Leston, Jonathan Jones, Kevin Sullivan, Michael Schiller, Jim Briggs III, Fernando Arruda, and Steven Rascón

Domestic Photography

Social Injustice

The Washington Post

Joshua Lott

International Photography

The Fall of Afghanistan

Los Angeles Times

Marcus Yam


Clay Jones Cartoons

Self-Syndicated & CNN

Clay Jones

Domestic Television

Unrelinquished: When Abusers Keep Their Guns

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Jennifer Gollan, Amina Waheed, Laila Al-Arian, Adrienne Haspel, Joel Van Haren, Darya Marchenkova, Andrew Donohue, Nina Martin, Katharine Mieszkowski, Esther Kaplan, Amanda Pike, Victoria Baranetsky, Sumi Aggarwal, and Narda Zacchino

International Television

A Thousand Cuts

Frontline (PBS)

Ramona Diaz

Criminal Justice

Behind the Blue Wall

USA Today

Gina Barton, Daphne Duret, Brett Murphy, and Jarrad Henderson


Media contacts

Amy Zelvin Reid, [email protected]

Emma Gillett, [email protected]

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

We are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues—championing change makers and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students about human rights and social justice.