Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

Close window

2015 Canadian Hillman Prize Winners Announced

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced the winners of the 2015 Canadian Hillman Prize, Wednesday. The 2015 Canadian Hillman goes to Kevin Donovan, Jesse Brown, Jayme Poisson, Emily Mathieu, and Randy Risling for "Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada — from Jian Ghomeshi to College Campuses," which appeared in the Toronto Star. This coverage exposed Canadian media superstar Ghomeshi as a serial abuser of women and delved into the pervasive problem of sexual violence on university campuses. Continue reading...

Sidney’s Picks: Scott Walker Likens Union Workers to ISIS

The best of the week's newsContinue reading...

Homan Square: Chicago’s Black Site

The Chicago Police Department operates a "black site" on the West Side of Chicago, Spencer Ackerman reports:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.Continue reading...

Sidney’s Picks: What Rudy Giuliani Knows About Love

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...

Steven Greenhouse on Keeping the Labor Beat Alive

Hillman Prize- and Sidney Award-winner Steven Greenhouse talks to Micah Uetricht of In These Times about his celebrated career as a labor reporter, his retirement from the New York Times, and future of the labor beat.

Hillman Judge Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins Polk Award

Sidney Hillman Judge Ta-Nehisi Coates has won a 2014 George Polk Award for his magnificent Atlantic cover story, "The Case for Reparations."Continue reading...

Sidney’s Picks: Florida’s Migrants Living in Squalor

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...

Santa Ana Combats Domestic Violence

The Voice of OC has a three-part series on the domestic violence crisis facing Santa Ana, California.

Santa Ana has the highest rate of domestic violence of any major city in the state. The Santa Ana police recieve domestic violence calls at an annual rate of 9.1/1000 residents. That's almost double the rate for Los Angeles.  Continue reading...

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting Wins February Sidney for Exposing No-Jail Jailers

R.G. Dunlop and Jacob Ryan of Louisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting win the February Sidney Award for exposing an outrageous system of patronage with their story “Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails.”Continue reading...

Sidney’s Picks: Subway DNA

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...


Recent Tweets

2015 Canadian Hillman Prize honors stories on rape; aboriginal health; and, the Temporary Foreign Worker Pgm: 18 hours 19 min ago
2015 Canadian Hillman Prize winners announced! 19 hours 54 min ago
RT @AtkinsonCF: We are proud of Atkinson board member @emathieuStar for her 2015 Canadian @SidneyHillman Prize win. #Journalism #CdnMedia c… 20 hours 16 min ago
.@TorontoStar's coverage of sex assault garners 2015 Canadian Hillman Prize! 21 hours 25 min ago
RT @UniforTheUnion: Congratulations to @TorontoStar and @WinnipegNews #Unifor members for their @SidneyHillman award wins. #journalism ht… 22 hours 3 min ago