Awards & Conferences
- Awards & Conferences
- Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism
- Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Journalism
- Joe Alex Morris Jr. Lecture
- J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project
- I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence
- The Christopher J. Georges Conference on College Journalism
- Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism
The Nieman Foundation presents annual journalism awards to news organizations and journalists who have produced exceptional work in several categories. In honoring journalistic excellence, the foundation helps draw attention to innovative research, reporting and storytelling and share the lessons learned from groundbreaking reporting projects in print, on air and online.
Recent honorees include Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, winners of the 2023 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. Nieman Fellows in the Nieman class of 2023 selected the women in recognition of their “steadfast commitment to producing courageous journalism about issues in Iran affecting women, including the September 2022 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.” The Fellows added: “Hamedi and Mohammadi put their livelihoods and lives on the line, and lost their freedom in the process. They knew the grave risks they might face but remained committed to telling Amini’s story. Journalists in Iran are risking their lives on a daily basis to report on the conditions and oppression there.”
“The Price Kids Pay” an in-depth investigation by Jodi S. Cohen at ProPublica and Jennifer Smith Richards at the Chicago Tribune is winner of the 2022 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism. The reporters exposed a loophole that allowed police in Illinois to routinely issue tickets to children for minor misbehavior, circumventing a state law that bans schools from fining students as a form of discipline. The reporters discovered that police had ticketed students more than 12,000 times in three years. Cohen and Smith Richards filed more than 500 public records requests and built a first-of-its-kind database that revealed the extent of school ticketing in the state.
The Austin American-Statesman is winner of the 2022 Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Journalism for its responsive reporting in the aftermath of the May 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The Statesman, together with Austin television station KVUE exposed the deeply flawed and delayed response by law enforcement to the shooting at the Robb Elementary School by publishing a hallway security video that showed events as they unfolded. The paper also told stories about the victims and their families and translated important news into Spanish for the local community. Finalists are “Words of Conviction: Tracing a Junk Science Through the Justice System” a ProPublica investigation by reporter Brett Murphy that reveals the origins and scope of 911 call analysis, and “The Landlord and the Tenant” a long-form narrative account of the systemic failures that led to a deadly fire in Milwaukee in 2013, reported by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Raquel Rutledge and ProPublica reporter Ken Armstrong.
Wendi C. Thomas, founding editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis, Tennessee, is winner of the 2023 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. MLK50 focuses on poverty, power and a range of public policy issues that affect local residents. Since its founding in 2017, it has provided indispensable community journalism and has told the stories of marginalized people too often ignored by established news media.
Recipients of the 2023 Lukas Prize Project Awards include Linda Villarosa, winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation,” Deborah Cohen, winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize for “Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War,” and the two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award winners Jesselyn Cook for “The Quiet Damage: QAnon and the Destruction of the American Family” and Mike Hixenbaugh for “Uncivil: One Town’s Fight over Race and Identity, and the New Battle for America’s Schools.” Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa are the Lukas Book Prize finalists for their book “His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice” and Kelly Lytle Hernández is the Lynton History Prize finalist is for “Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire & Revolution in the Borderlands.”
In addition to presenting annual journalism awards, the Nieman Foundation regularly organizes conferences for journalists based around a central theme. In November 2019, the Nieman Foundation and the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard C-CHANGE) co-hosted “Covering Climate Change,” an intensive training workshop for journalists on covering climate change and related issues.
Together with University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Nieman made co-hosted the 2020 Campaign Journalism Conference for journalists covering the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The training took place in April 2019 in Chicago. In March 2018, Nieman hosted “Covering Nuclear Issues: A Workshop for Journalists,” a three-day conference that brought a diverse group of reporters, academics, researchers and practitioners together to help journalists deepen their reporting skills and expand their thinking around nuclear issues. And in March 2017, the Nieman Foundation presented another workshop for journalists, “Covering Housing.”
Nieman additionally organized and hosted “Power: Accountability and Abuse,” a two-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes in September 2016 that featured Pulitzer-winning performances and discussions centered on excellence in journalism and the arts.
The Nieman Foundation also hosts the Christopher J. Georges Conference on College Journalism for student journalists each spring.