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Sidney Awards

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.

August, 2014
Jay Root Wins August Sidney for Exposé of Texas’ Threadbare Workers’ Compensation System
The Texas Tribune

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.

July, 2014
Esther Kaplan Wins July Sidney for “Losing Sparta: The Bitter Truth About the Gospel Of Productivity”
Virginia Quarterly Review

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.

June, 2014
Beth Schwartzapfel Wins June Sidney for “The Great American Chain Gang”
The American Prospect

Beth Schwartzapfel wins the June Sidney Award for “The Great American Chain Gang” a feature in The American Prospect that explores a vast but little-known workforce inside the U.S. prison system, where 870,000 inmates work full time with practically no rights at work.

May, 2014
Chris Hayes Wins May Sidney Award for “The New Abolitionism”
The Nation

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.

April, 2014
The Miami Herald Wins April Sidney Award for “Innocents Lost”
The Miami Herald

Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of the Miami Herald win the April Sidney Award for "Innocents Lost", an investigative multi-media package profiling some 477 Florida children who died after the state’s child protection authorities investigated their families for abuse or neglect but failed to take them into care.

March, 2014
Moshe Marvit Wins March Sidney Award for Profiling the Most Exploited Workforce You’ve Never Heard Of
The Nation

Moshe Marvit wins the March Sidney Award for his Nation magazine feature “How Crowdworkers Became Ghosts in the Digital Machine,” which shines a spotlight on a hidden workforce in which millions of digital pieceworkers toil online at home for less than minimum wage, executing repetitive “microtasks” for brokers like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

February, 2014
Amanda Hess Wins February Sidney Award for “The Next Civil Rights Issue: Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet”
Pacific Standard

Amanda Hess wins the February Sidney Award for her provocative Pacific Standard essay describing the abuse that female journalists disproportionately encounter online and the implications of this phenomenon for women’s equality in the public sphere.

Amanda Hess
January, 2014
Golf Digest Wins January Sidney Award for Profile of the Latino Immigrants Who Tend the Nation’s Greens

Gabriel Thompson wins the January Sidney Award for The Caretakers, a profile of the Latino immigrants who toil in obscurity to keep the nation’s golf greens manicured. In an unusual move for a sports magazine, Golf Digest commissioned this piece, published in English and Spanish, to enhance their readers’ understanding of Latino immigrants in the golf industry.

December, 2013
This American Life Wins December Sidney for Shining a Light on Racial Profiling in the Housing Market
This American Life/ProPublica

Nancy Updike and Nikole Hannah-Jones win the December Sidney Award for House Rules, This American Life’s gripping, revelatory history of The Fair Housing Act, landmark civil rights legislation designed to reverse decades of racist housing policy and segregation. The program is based on Hannah-Jones' reporting for ProPublica.

Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nancy Updike
November, 2013
FRONTLINE Wins November Sidney Award for Exposing the NFL’s Concussion Crisis
Frontline

FRONTLINE wins the November Sidney Award for League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, a major investigation that reveals what the National Football League knew about post-concussion brain damage, and when it knew it. This groundbreaking reporting shows how the NFL covered up the link between repeated concussions on the field and early-onset dementia.

Michael Kirk
Mark Fainaru-Wada
Steve Fainaru
Mike Wiser
Jim Gilmore

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 alex@hillmanfoundation.org