Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

NPR's Zwerdling Wins March Sidney for Exposing Back Injury Crisis in Nursing

Photo credit: 

Kainaz Amaria, NPR.

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

Sidney’s Picks: You Are Going To Respect Me!

Photo credit: 

Mediageek, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

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

2015 Canadian Hillman Prize Winners Announced

Photo credit: 

Photo credit: Ian Martin, Creative Commons.]

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. 

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

Photo credit: 

Gateway Technical College, Creative Commons.

The best of the week’s news

  • What kind of man joins the “Men’s Rights” movement? Admit it, you’re curious.

Homan Square: Chicago’s Black Site

Photo credit: 

Westside Chicago, by Ian Freimuth, Creative Commons.

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. 

Sidney’s Picks: What Rudy Giuliani Knows About Love

Photo credit: 

Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

Steven Greenhouse on Keeping the Labor Beat Alive

Photo credit: 

James Estrin, via In These Times.

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.”

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! 

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

Photo credit: 

Duane Schoon, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • More than half of all migrant labor camps in Florida received an “unsatisfactory” rating from the Department of Health, according to a major investigation by Watchdog Sarasota. 
  • The Nation releases a new eBook on Bill DeBlasio and inequality by Eric Alterman.

Santa Ana Combats Domestic Violence

Photo credit: 

Hibr, Creative Commons.

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.  

Santa Ana is a diverse city that is home to many immigrants. Activists note that victims whose immigration status is uncertain are often reluctant to report domestic violence out of fear of deportation. 

The Orange County Family Justice Center offers multiple services to domestic violence. Victims can get help with legal issues, social services, and counselling, all under the same roof. The center is at the forefront of a movement to meet the needs of DV survivors in a more comprehensive way. 

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