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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

Wed, May 14, 2014

As promised, all the videos from last week's Hillman Prize ceremony at the Times Center are now available on YouTube. Check them out. 

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As promised, all the videos from last week's Hillman Prize ceremony at the Times Center are now available on YouTube. Check them out. 

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Tue, May 13, 2014

Nothing better than the real thing? Well...

Coca-Cola funded Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Public but gave privately to an industry group that campaigned to weaken drunk driving laws, according to private documents obtained by Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel of Huffington Post. 

 

[Photo credit: Deus X Florida, Creative Commons.]

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Nothing better than the real thing? Well...

Coca-Cola funded Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Public but gave privately to an industry group that campaigned to weaken drunk driving laws, according to private documents obtained by Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel of Huffington Post. 

 

[Photo credit: Deus X Florida, Creative Commons.]

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Fri, May 9, 2014

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • A moving tribute to Heather "Digby" Parton on the occasion of her Hillman Prize win by Kathleen Geier of the Washington Monthly. Hillman judge Katrina vanden Heuvel thought the post was so apt she quoted it when she presented Digby's award at Tuesday's Hillman Prize ceremony. 

 

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

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Tue, May 6, 2014

Tonight, the Sidney Hillman Foundation will honor Heather "Digby" Parton with the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Digby's blog Hullabaloo has been a fixture in the progressive blogosphere for over a decade. Digby has eloquently opposed injustice and incompetence on issues ranging from the invasion of Iraq to the widening chasm between rich and poor in America. Whatever the topic, Digby approaches her work with a level head and a big heart. 

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Tonight, the Sidney Hillman Foundation will honor Heather "Digby" Parton with the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Digby's blog Hullabaloo has been a fixture in the progressive blogosphere for over a decade. Digby has eloquently opposed injustice and incompetence on issues ranging from the invasion of Iraq to the widening chasm between rich and poor in America. Whatever the topic, Digby approaches her work with a level head and a big heart. 

I will give the last word to Kathleen Geier of the Washington Monthly, "Since she’s the best daily political writer in America, an honor of this sort is the least we can do for her. Congrats to Digby and to the Hillman people for making such an awesome choice. Now and forever: What. Digby. Said!" 

[This is the final installment in a series of profiles of the 2014 Hillman Prize winners. The winners will be honored tonight at a ceremony at the Times Center in Manhattan. Doors open at 6pm. The twitter hashtag for the event is #Hillman2014.]

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Mon, May 5, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Bud Bultman, Roni Selig, Melissa Dunst Lipman, Carl Graf, and Saundra Young on their Hillman 2014 win for the groundbreaking documentary, "Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports." Watch it in full online.  

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Congratulations to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Bud Bultman, Roni Selig, Melissa Dunst Lipman, Carl Graf, and Saundra Young on their Hillman 2014 win for the groundbreaking documentary, "Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports." Watch it in full online.  

Gupta is the chief medical correspondent for CNN and host of the cable network’s weekend medical affairs program “Sanjay Gupta, M.D.” A practicing neurosurgeon, he reports on health and medical news on various CNN programs and documentaries.

For more than a year, Dr. Gupta and his team travelled the world taking a critical look at the science and research surrounding the use of cannabis. Obtaining numerous exclusive television interviews with experts and families, “Weed” changed the national dialogue on this subject and fostered an unprecedented intersection between world-class science, tremendously needy patients and the ethics surrounding the use of this plant as a medicine.

This is another in a series of profiles of the winners of the 2014 Hillman Prizes. These prizes honor journalism in service of the common good. Follow us on twitter at @sidneyhillman. Use the twitter hashtag #Hillman2014 to find out the latest buzz on the Hillman Prizes, including our upcoming awards ceremony on May 6 at the New York Times Center. Use #Hillman2014 to tag your tweets about the Hillman Prizes. We want to hear from you!

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Fri, May 2, 2014

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • The adjunct faculty at Howard University voted by a margin of over 90% to join a union, making Howard the first historically black university with unionized adjuncts.
  • It sounds like an urban legend: A woman finds a plea for help from a prison laborer in China stitched inside her Saks 5th Avenue shopping bag. But DNAinfo tracked the author down and authenticated the letter.

 

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

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Wed, Apr 30, 2014

Craig Welch and Steve Ringman have won the 2014 Hillman Prize for Web Journalism for "Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn," published by the Seattle Times and supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. 

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Craig Welch and Steve Ringman have won the 2014 Hillman Prize for Web Journalism for "Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn," published by the Seattle Times and supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. 

The pair travelled the world to document the toll of ocean acidifcation, a little known but devastating side effect of climate change that threatens coral reefs, fisheries, jobs, and food supplies worldwide.

Welch's elegant science writing and Ringman's arresting photos depict what acidifcation has already done to the Pacific and point to an even more dismal future if action is not taken. Their reporting was enriched by innovative web-based features and social media outreach. 

To report a story that is taking place largely underwater, Welch and Ringman became certified scuba divers, despite having no prior diving experience. 

Welch has been covering the environment for the Seattle Times for 14 years, garnering several journalism awards. He is the author of the book Shell Games. Ringman is a 20-year veteran of the Times. His award-winning coverage of the renewal of the Elwa River became part of the book Elwa: A River Reborn.  

This is another in a series of profiles of the winners of the 2014 Hillman Prizes. These prizes honor journalism in service of the common good. Follow us on twitter at @sidneyhillman, Craig Welch at @CraigAWelch, and Steve Ringman at @sringman. Use the twitter hashtag #Hillman2014 to find out the latest buzz on the Hillman Prizes , including our upcoming awards ceremony on May 6 at the New York Times Center. Use #Hillman2014 to tag your tweets about the Hillman Prizes. We want to hear from you!

 

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Tue, Apr 29, 2014

Jonathan Cohn is the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism for "The Hell of American Daycare," a feature story in The New Republic that uncovered a national pattern of unregulated, dysfunctional, and dangerous daycares. Cohn tells the story of a young mother from Houston who lost her 1-year-old daughter in a fire at an unlicensed facility. Like many working poor parents, the woman was forced to send her child to a substandard daycare because she couldn't afford anything else.  

Cohn is a senior editor at The New Republic and the author of Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis. He shared the 2010 Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism for his coverage of health care reform. 

This is another in a series of profiles of the winners of the 2014 Hillman Prizes. These prizes honor journalism in service of the common good. Follow us on twitter at @sidneyhillman and Jonathan Cohn at @citizencohn. Use the twitter hashtag #Hillman2014 to find out the latest buzz on the Hillman Prizes , including our upcoming awards ceremony on May 6 at the New York Times Center. Use #Hillman2014 to tag your tweets about the Hillman Prizes. We want to hear from you!

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Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Pat Beall is the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism for her coverage of prision privatization for the Palm Beach Post. Beall compiled 13 years of national data on private prisons, documenting a decade’s worth of squalor, violence and abuse that stemmed from a pattern of hiring too few guards or guards with little experience. Some guards came to the job with criminal histories; others committed crimes while still on the job. The Post’s comprehensive list of major prisoner abuse, published online as an interactive map, is the only one of its kind.

Beall's 8-month investigation exposed the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council as a major proponent of prison privatization. She also discovered that, despite what the public had been told, privatization wasn't saving taxpayer money. 

Beall is an investigative reporter with the Palm Beach Post. Prior to joining the Post, she was the editor of the Orlando Business Journal, which racked up over 300 journalism awards under her leadership. 

This is another in a series of profiles of the winners of the 2014 Hillman Prizes. These prizes honor journalism in service of the common good.

Follow us on twitter at @sidneyhillman and Pat Beall at @patbeall1

Use the twitter hashtag #Hillman2014 to find out the latest buzz on the Hillman Prizes and the upcoming awards ceremony on May 6 at the New York Times Center. Use #Hillman2014 to tag your tweets about the Hillman Prizes. We want to hear from you!

 

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Fri, Apr 25, 2014

  • With both local abortion clinics shuttered by H.B. 2, women in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas are running out of options.
  • 2013 Hillman Prize-winner Shane Bauer is crowdsourcing the funds to spend a year investigating the U.S. prison system.
  • Football players at Northwestern vote today on whether to form a union.

 

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

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