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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.

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Clear It With Sidney

Mon, Mar 16, 2015

The Atlanta Journal Constitution won a 2012 Hillman Prize for exposing a massive teacher cheating ring in Atlanta's schools. The scam has been called the largest academic fraud in U.S. history. 

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution won a 2012 Hillman Prize for exposing a massive teacher cheating ring in Atlanta's schools. The scam has been called the largest academic fraud in U.S. history. 

Closing arguments began Monday in the trial of 12 teachers accused of changing answers on standardized test papers to give their students higher scores. Twenty-one of the original 35 defendents struck plea bargains, and 2 others have died. 

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Mon, Mar 16, 2015

The fifth annual Canadian Hillman Prize ceremony was a night to remember. See all our photos from Thursday night's event at the Drake Hotel in Toronto.

These awards honor excellence in socially conscious Canadian journalism, with a special emphasis on reporting that brings about change for the common good.

 

 

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The fifth annual Canadian Hillman Prize ceremony was a night to remember. See all our photos from Thursday night's event at the Drake Hotel in Toronto.

These awards honor excellence in socially conscious Canadian journalism, with a special emphasis on reporting that brings about change for the common good.

 

 

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Wed, Mar 11, 2015

Daniel Zwerdling of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” wins the March Sidney Award for “Injured Nurses,” a four-part series that reveals the shockingly high rate of crippling back injuries among nurses in the face of widespread indifference by hospitals.

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Daniel Zwerdling of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” wins the March Sidney Award for “Injured Nurses,” a four-part series that reveals the shockingly high rate of crippling back injuries among nurses in the face of widespread indifference by hospitals.

Nurses, nursing assistants, and orderlies suffer more disabling back injuries on the job than any other class of workers, including police officers and construction workers. Over 35,000 nursing staffers hurt their backs badly enough to miss work every year, with many sustaining permanent, disabling injuries.

Read about the making of "Injured Nurses," in our Backstory interview

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Fri, Mar 6, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • Embattled Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel snaps at mental health advocates, yelling, "You are going to respect me!"

 

 

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Wed, Mar 4, 2015

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. 

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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. 

An honorable mention goes to Kevin Rollason of the Winnipeg Free Press for telling the story of Brian Sinclair, an aboriginal man who died of a treatable infection in a hospital emergency room because the staff ignored him for hours. 

An second honorable mention goes to Kathy Tomlinson and Raj Ahluwalia of CBC News "The National" for exposing employer abuses of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program. 

Learn more about all the Canadian Hillman honorees and their outstanding work. 

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Fri, Feb 27, 2015

The best of the week's news

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The best of the week's news

  • What kind of man joins the "Men's Rights" movement? Admit it, you're curious.
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Tue, Feb 24, 2015

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.

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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.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights. [Guardian]

Ackerman learned that at least one man has been found unresponsive in a Homan Square interview room and later declared dead. 

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Fri, Feb 20, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

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Wed, Feb 18, 2015

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.

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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.

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Mon, Feb 16, 2015

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

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

Till Death Do Us Parta ground-breaking series on domestic violence by the Post and Courier of Charleston, won a Sidney Award in September of 2014 and a Polk Award last night.

Past Sidney-winner John Carlos Frey and our friends at the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute also took home a Polk Award last night:  

The award for television reporting went to Marisa Venegas and Solly Granatstein, executive producers, and John Carlos Frey, correspondent, for a joint production by the Investigative Fund, the Weather Channel, Telemundo and Efran Films titled “Muriendo por Cruzar (Dying to Cross),” on the plight of migrants in the Texas desert. [NYT]

The Polk Awards honor special achievements in journalism. They are named after CBS correspondent James Polk who was murdered while covering a civil war in Greece in 1948. The judges place a premium on rigorous investigation and real-world results. 

Congratulations to all the winners! 

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