Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Sidney’s Picks: Lead Hurts New York Kids

Photo credit: 

Cat Sidh, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • The New York City Housing Authority is way behind on lead abatement and kids are paying the price. (Hat Tip: Liz)
  • 65% of migrants who died in 2014 drowned in the Mediterranean. How one NGO is trying to save lives at sea.
  • NYU made 10,000 construction workers on its Abu Dhabi campus second-class citizens, denying them wage and hour protections that the rest of NYU’s employees enjoy.

Sidney’s Picks: Today's GOP Is the Party of Jefferson Davis

Photo credit: 

Portrait of Jefferson Davis, by CanonFire09, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • What happens when prisoners get sent home early because of computer glitches? What happens when they have to go back?

Spencer Woodman Wins April Sidney for Exposing Amazon's Outrageous Non-compete Agreements

Photo credit: 

Courtesy of Spencer Woodman.

We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. 

Learn more about Spencer’s reporting and Amazon’s subsequent promise to stop imposing non-competes on hourly workers in The Backstory

Sidney’s Picks: Special War on Women Edition

Photo credit: 

Anthony Chammond, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • Texas bill would name judges who authorize abortions for minors.

Bryan Stevenson to receive inaugural George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George “Citizen” Barrett. 

Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Based in Alabama, the EJI fights against wrongful convictions, executions, and excessive sentences. Stevenson is the author of the bestselling book, Just Mercy, a memoir about his work as a public interest lawyer. His 2012 TED Talk, “We Need to Talk About Injustice,” has been viewed over 2 million times. 

Sidney’s Picks: Supreme Court Gives Decisive Victory to Pregnant Workers

Photo credit: 

John Marino, Creative Commons. 

The Best of the Week’s News

  • We are like a shark”: Steelworkers in Ukraine have to keep toiling in a war zone, because if their plant shuts down, it can never re-open.

Remembering the Triangle Fire: 104 Years On

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 

 

Sidney’s Picks: NYC Knife Law Jails Union Workers for Their Tools

Photo credit: 

Gravity knives, illustration: Knifeworkchey.blogspot.com.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has found a new medium for her sardonic images: painted eggs, also known as pysanka.

Closing Arguments in Trial of Teachers Accused of Cheating on Standardized Tests

Photo credit: 

Albertogp, Creative Commons.

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. 

2015 Canadian Hillman Prize Photos: Fifth Anniversary Edition

Photo credit: 

Left to right: Judge Jim Stanford, and Canadian Hillman Prize winners Emily Mathieu, Randy Risling, and Michael Cooke of the Toronto Star; photo by Katherine Palmateer

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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