Welcome to "Clear it With Sidney" by Lindsay Beyerstein
Welcome to Clear it With Sidney by Lindsay Beyerstein. You can watch Sidney Hillman Foundation executive director Alexandra Lescaze and me discussing the blog and its mission. This blog is showcase for the best journalism in service of the common good. We bring you exclusive interviews with the journalists who break the stories. Clear It With Sidney will be a community for journalists who have won Hillman-sponsored awards in the past. We will invite them back to talk about their latest projects and new developments in their prizewinning stories.
Clear it With Sidney got its name because of something Sidney Hillman’s critics used to whisper about him. It was said that Hillman, the leader of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, and a key partner in the New Deal Coalition, was so powerful that FDR told his associates to “clear it with Sidney” before making major decisions. Hillman took the taunt and turned it into a badge of honor.
Sidney Hillman believed in the power of journalism to change society for the better. In a healthy economy, strong unions square off against capital to check corporate power. In a healthy democracy, a free and vibrant press scrutinizes powerful institutions and keeps the public informed so that we are ready to participate in our own governance.
In a democracy, everyone’s perspective matters, but some stories are ignored or suppressed because of systemic biases like sexism, racism, and classism. A healthy and vibrant press challenges itself to confront its own biases and to expose inequities in society.
I don’t know where Sidney Hillman stood on epistemological issues, but I’m old fashioned. I think there’s such a thing as truth and that the very best journalism uncovers it and disseminates it fearlessly.
I am counting on you, the readers of this blog, to be my eyes and ears in the vast and fragmented media landscape. If you see outstanding journalism, tell me about it. To recommend a story, tweet the link @SidneyHillman, hashtag #Sidney. Click here to officially nominate a story for a Sidney Award. You can also send an email to the address on the sidebar, or weigh in on the Sidney Hillman facebook page.