For more than fifty years, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has awarded the Hillman prizes, which are among the most prestigious honors in journalism. In 2009, the foundation inaugurated the Sidney, a monthly award for an outstanding piece of socially-conscious journalism. We are looking for investigative work that fosters social and economic justice. Make a nomination.
R.G. Dunlop and Jacob Ryan of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting win the February Sidney Award for exposing an outrageous system of patronage with their story “Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails.” Due to a quirk in Kentucky’s constitution, 41 counties have a county jailer, but no jail.
Richard Marosi and Don Bartletti wins the January Sidney Award for “Product of Mexico,” a multi-media package for the Los Angeles Times documenting the brutal labor practices on Mexican farms that supply tomatoes and other produce to major U.S. retailers including WalMart.
Greg Palast wins the December Sidney for “Jim Crow Returns,” and “Challenging Crosscheck,” a two-part Al Jazeera America exposé that shows how millions of innocent people were flagged as suspected vote fraudsters just because they have the same first and last name as a voter in another state.
On the eve of the 2014 elections, officials had begun to purge voters based on Crosscheck, with over 40,000 voters being dropped from the rolls in Virginia alone.
Adrian Chen wins the November Sidney Award for “Unseen,” a Wired feature about content moderators, the invisible army of contractors who spend their days sifting through all the porn, gore and hate speech that users try to upload to social networks.
McClatchy and ProPublica win the October Sidney Award for “Contract to Cheat,” a year-long investigation showing that roughly 10 million construction workers are being misclassified as independent contractors. The scam harms workers and cheats taxpayers out of billions of dollars, but regulators have done nearly nothing about it.
The Post and Courier wins the September Sidney Award for “Till Death Do Us Part,” an investigative multimedia series probing South Carolina’s domestic homicide crisis.
Jay Root wins the August Sidney Award for “Hurting for Work,” a Texas Tribune series, which illustrates how laissez-faire policies created the “Texas Miracle” on the backs of workers.
Esther Kaplan wins the July Sidney Award for “Losing Sparta: The Bitter Truth About the Gospel Of Productivity” a feature in The Virginia Quarterly Review which describes how a Philips lighting plant in Sparta, Tennessee got off-shored to Mexico, despite being the most productive plant in the country.
Chris Hayes wins the May Sidney Award for “The New Abolitionism,” a provocative feature in The Nation in which he argues that fossil fuel companies must forfeit $10 trillion in wealth in order to save human civilization, a demand he says is no less urgent, and no less radical than the abolitionist ultimatum that slaveholders give up the vast wealth they held in human bondage.
Certificate designed by Edward Sorel
The Sidney is awarded monthly to a piece published in an American magazine, newspaper, on a news site, or a blog. Television and radio broadcasts by an American news outlet are also eligible, as are published photography series.
Deadlines are the last day of each month. The piece must have been published in the month preceding the deadline. In the case of magazines, please nominate according to the issue date on the publication, not when it first appeared.
Nominations are accepted for one's own work, or for someone else's.
The Foundation will announce a winner on the second Wednesday of each month. Recipients will be awarded $500, a bottle of union-made wine, and a certificate designed especially for the Sidney by New Yorker cartoonist, Edward Sorel.
If you wish to nominate yourself or a piece by anyone else, please click here for our nomination form.If you have any further questions about the nomination process, please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org