Cambridge, Mass. – The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has chosen several journalists as new members of the committee that selects its annual I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.
The award honors the life of investigative journalist I.F. Stone and is presented to an American journalist or news executive whose work exemplifies the independent spirit, integrity and courage that characterized I.F. Stone’s Weekly, which was published from 1953 to 1971.
The new committee members are Bernice Yeung, a ProPublica reporter who focuses on labor and employment; Michael Riley, an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News and Businessweek magazine; and Jasmine Brown, a senior producer in the race and culture unit at ABC News’ “World News Tonight with David Muir.” They will join current members Myra MacPherson, author of “All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone” and Phillip W.d. Martin, a senior investigative reporter for WGBH News.
Selection committee member Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, public editor at PBS, will take over as chair as Florence Graves, founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, steps down from that role. Jacqueline E. Sharkey, professor emerita and former director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, also has finished her time on the committee.
“Journalists today are under pressure to ‘keep it short,’ to compete at the speed of social media and at the expense of context and history,” said Sandoval-Palos. “This is why I’ve prized my time as a member of the I.F. Stone Medal jury. We honor the deep work of journalists who hate the word ‘no’ and find a way around obstacles. Florence brought me to this table and it’s an honor for me to step up and help guide an effort she curated so well over the years.”
Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski added: “We are grateful to Florence and Jacqueline for their years of contributions to the I.F. Stone selection committee and for upholding the values of independent journalism. We are pleased to welcome Ricardo to the role of chair and know that he will uphold those same values in honoring future winners of this prestigious award.”
The I.F. Stone Selection Committee members
Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, the PBS public editor, is an award-winning investigative reporter and multimedia editor. He has helped shape the reporting teams at nonprofit newsrooms including InsideClimate News, 100Reporters and palabra., the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ digital publishing platform. Previously, Sandoval-Palos was a supervising editor of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” an editor with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and an assistant city editor at The Sacramento Bee. He also was a Latin America correspondent for The Dallas Morning News and the San Jose Mercury News, and an investigative reporter for The Orange County Register and The San Francisco Examiner. His work has been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, the Inter American Press Association, the Gerald Loeb Awards for Business Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists, Boston College’s Myers Center Awards and the Los Angeles Press Club.
Jasmine Brown is a senior producer in the race and culture unit at ABC News’ “World News Tonight with David Muir.” She has reported from some of the most remote places on the planet, producing stories on topics ranging from the effects of climate change in Antarctica and the Marshall Islands to reforms inside Rikers Island. She was named as one of “19 Women Changing Journalism in 2019” by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Before joining “World News Tonight,” Brown worked at “Nightline” and “20/20,” where she contributed to the network’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of Hurricane Sandy. In 2016, she was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award for the “Nightline” series “Face-to-Face.” Brown was a 2020 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. With two of her Nieman classmates, she co-founded Diversifying Journalism, a project to expand and amplify the voices of people of color in U.S. newsrooms, including sources and newsroom staff.
Myra MacPherson is the award-winning author of the 2006 biography “All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone,” which received the 2007 Ann M. Sperber Award for media biography and was a finalist for a 2008 PEN Center USA literary award. Her other books include “The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age,” “Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation,” “The Power Lovers: An Intimate Look at Politicians and Their Marriages” and “She Came to Live Out Loud: An Inspiring Family Journey Through Illness, Loss, and Grief.” During her 20 years as a journalist at The Washington Post, she specialized in politics, in-depth human-interest stories and profiles. She interviewed famous figures including Fidel Castro, Helen Keller and several U.S. presidents, and she covered five presidential campaigns. She has also written for The New York Times and numerous magazines and websites. MacPherson was a senior fellow at the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College and received a Fulbright grant. She is a member of Veterans for Peace and is involved with Project Renew, which assists victims of Agent Orange and land mines in Vietnam.
Phillip W.d. Martin is a senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter to PRI’s “The World,” a radio program he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995. On WGBH-TV, he is a regular panelist on “Basic Black” and occasional panelist on “Beat the Press.” Martin was NPR’s first national race relations correspondent from 1998 to 2001. He also was the executive producer for Lifted Veils Productions, a nonprofit public radio journalism project dedicated to exploring issues that divide and unite society. His series “The Color Initiative” on the global impact of skin color aired on “The World” from 2007 to 2010. Martin was a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, a 1997 U.S. Japan Media Fellow and a 1998 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. His honors include SPJ’s 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting and the 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. He was part of a team of NPR reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
Michael Riley is an investigative reporter who focuses on hacking and technology for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek. Before joining Bloomberg in 2010, he was a national reporter for The Denver Post for eight years, winning recognition for his in-depth reporting on violence that plagued some of America’s Indian reservations and the global environmental destruction caused by gold mining. He reported for five years from Latin America and was an Inter American Press Association fellow in Mexico City. Riley has won many journalism awards, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, Columbia University’s Paul Tobenkin Award and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ Best in Business Award. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Bernice Yeung is a California-based reporter for ProPublica who focuses on labor and employment. In 2020, she covered the impact of COVID-19 on meatpacking workers and was a member of a team of journalists honored with a Polk Award for health reporting. Previously, she was a reporter with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she investigated the sexual assault of immigrant farmworkers as part of the national Emmy-nominated “Rape in the Fields” reporting team. The project won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Yeung also was the lead reporter for the national Emmy-nominated “Rape on the Night Shift” team, which examined sexual violence against female janitors. That work won an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative journalism and the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Those projects led to her first book, “In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers” (The New Press, 2018), which in 2019 was honored with the PEN America/John Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts in all fields. More than 1,600 journalists from 99 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a website and print magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; Nieman Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.