Clear It with Sidney | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

The best of the week’s news by Lindsay Beyerstein

Clear It with Sidney

Sidney's Picks: New WaPo CEO Tried to Squelch Coverage of His Phone-Hacking Scandal

The Best of the Week’s News

  • The Washington Post’s new CEO tried to squelch coverage of his links to a phone-hacking scandal. (SF Gate, NYT, NPR)


  • Nine witnesses in Trump’s criminal cases have received major benefits from his campaign and businesses, raising fears of witness tampering. (ProPublica)


  • Decaying, cash-strapped MTA has no lifeline after Gov. Kathy Hochul unexpectedly kills congestion pricing. (Curbed)

  • 400 incarcerated New Yorkers speak out about the reality of prison labor as Legal Aid Society advances legislation to ban forced labor behind bars. (NY Mag)

  • Can state Supreme Courts safeguard the rights we have, or even recognize new ones? (New Yorker)

Sidney's Picks: Labor Department Sues Hyundai Over Child Labor

Photo credit: 

RoyCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News


Sidney's Picks: Ride Share Tax-Dodging & Disappearing Police Discipline Records

Photo credit: 

Focal FotoCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • How Uber and Lyft dodge millions in taxes. (Slate)
  • NYPD discipline records keep disappearing from a public database. (ProPublica)
  • Trump helped his employees evade security cameras as they moved classified documents he’d hoarded at Mar-a-Lago, newly unsealed motion alleges. (WaPo)
  • Aurora Almendral talks about how she reported her Hillman Prize-winning story on the exploitation of nurses during the pandemic. (Type Investigations)
  • Psychedelics are proving their worth as medicine, but access remains elusive for many. (Nation)
  • African AI workers send open letter to Biden asking him to free them from “modern day slavery.” (Wired)

Sidney's Picks: Billionaires Sue to Nix California's Farm Worker Protections

Photo credit: 

Mingo HaganCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News


  • These pomegranate barons are suing to roll back California’s protections for agricultural workers. (LAT)

  • Lawsuit alleges that KFC, McDonald’s and other major brands violated the Ku Klux Klan Act with forced prison labor. (Bloomberg)

  • Was British nurse’s conviction for the alleged murder of seven babies based on scapegoating and junk statistics? (New Yorker)

  • She ran for school board to fight Critical Race Theory in the classroom, she found there was none. (ProPublica)

  • How extremist settlers hijacked Israel’s democracy. (NYT)

Sidney's Picks: Will Mercedes Benz be the UAW's Next Big Win?

Photo credit: 

Vintage UAW sign, Joe HardenbrookCreative Commons.

​The Best of the Week’s News

Tyson Foods Dumped Tons of Toxic Chemicals; Congrats to Hillman Prize-winners!

Photo credit: 

Tori RectorCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • Federal judges are accepting undisclosed luxury junkets. (NPR)

  • Nail salon workers face reproductive health crisis. (DocumentedNY)

  • Labor Department announces new rule to protect farm workers from wage theft and human trafficking. (Nursery Mgt)

  • Tyson Foods dumped tons of toxic chemicals—including cyanide—into U.S. waterways. (Guardian)

  • They joined the national police Explorers youth program for mentorship, only to suffer grooming and sexual abuse. (Marshall Project)

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2024 Hillman Prizes, we look forward to meeting and honoring you in New York next week!

Volkswagen "First Domino to Fall"

  • Volkswagen in Tennessee was the first “domino to fall” says United Auto Workers president Shawn Fein. (Guardian)
  • New FTC ban on non-compete clauses could raise wages by $300 billion dollars. (Nation)
  • Ninety-seven journalists have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, 16 have been wounded, and 4 are reported missing. (CPJ)
  • Supreme Court seems poised to side with Starbucks in its bid to curtail the powers of the National Labor Relations Board. (WaPo)
  • Florida charges incarcerated people $50 a day for their entire sentence, even if they are released on probation. (ABC)

Announcing the Winners of the 2024 Hillman Prizes

NEW YORK —The Sidney Hillman Foundation announces today the winners of the 74thannual Hillman Prizes for journalism:

Book – Samuel G. Freedman, Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights, Oxford University Press

Broadcast – Candice Nguyen, “911: Hanging on the Line,” NBC Bay Area News

Newspaper – Hannah Beckler, The Secret Terror Inside U.S Prisons, Business Insider 

Magazine – Josh Eidelson, The U.S. Workplace Power Struggle, Bloomberg Businessweek

The SEIU Award for Reporting on Racial and Economic Justice – Aurora Almendral, “Merchants of Care,” Type Investigations and Quartz

Opinion & Analysis – Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Business Insider wins a Hillman Prize for Hannah Beckler’s harrowing, eye-opening reporting that moved the state of Virginia to severely restrict the use of attack-trained dogs in prisons.

NBC Bay Area News wins a Hillman Prize for its breathtaking exposé of the failures of the 911 system in Oakland, California, that leaves emergency callers on hold or facing busy signals, if they can get through at all.

Labor reporter Josh Eidelson of Bloomberg Businessweek wins the magazine prize for his consistent, high-quality reporting on companies such as Dollar General, where workers face deplorable working conditions—ranging from uncontrolled vermin, to blocked fire exits, and faulty fire extinguishers—and where management rules by threats and intimidation. 

For the book prize, the judges selected Samuel G. Freedman’s Into the Bright Sunshine, from Oxford University Press, a new perspective on the legacy of Hubert Humphrey, one that focuses on his underappreciated influence on the cause of civil rights in the 1940s.

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wins the opinion and analysis prize for his indispensable columns on disinformation and the political economy.

The new 2024 SEIU Award for reporting on racial and economic justice goes to “Merchants of Care,” a series by Aurora Almendral for Type Investigations and Quartz, investigating the international bidding war for healthcare workers which has led to the rampant exploitation of migrant nurses—and left poorer health systems scrambling to cope.

This year’s prizes were judged by Jamelle Bouie, columnist for The New York TimesMaria Carrillo, former enterprise editor Tampa Bay Times/Houston ChronicleTa-Nehisi Coates, bestselling author and former national correspondent, The AtlanticAlix Freedman, global editor, Ethics and Standards, Reuters; Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large, The American Prospect; and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher, The Nation.

Reporting by this year’s prize winners has had significant positive impact:

  • After Business Insider’s investigation into the use of attack dogs on prisoners, Virginia’s corrections commissioner stepped down, and the governor signed legislation that severely restricts the use of attack dogs in state prisons.
  • Reports by NBC Bay Area News, that exposed the stunning failures of Oakland’s 911 system, finally spurred city and state leaders to address emergency communications issues.
  • After less than a year on the job, the CEO of Dollar General resigned, just three weeks after Bloomberg ran its eye-opening investigative piece. The new CEO announced plans to have more employees in the front of stores and to slow down the rapid expansions that were coming at the expense of staffing and safety.
  • In Florida, nurses subjected to coercive labor contracts recently filed a class-action lawsuit against their hospital. They were motivated by the series about the exploitation of migrant nurses, published by Type Investigations and Quartz

“The 2024 Hillman Prize winners demonstrate the critical role of the media in demanding accountability from governments, corporations, and institutions, exposing injustice and speaking truth to power,” said Sidney Hillman Foundation President Bruce Raynor. “We are proud to reward their groundbreaking work.”

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is also delighted to announce that Philippe Sands KC is the recipient of the 2024 George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law. His professional career exemplifies the public spirit and activism of George “Citizen” Barrett. Sands has distinguished himself in the best tradition of public interest law by representing people without money or power to secure their basic civil and human rights, to address the legacies of colonialism, and to protect the global environment. 

The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host a celebration of the honorees in New York, on May 7th.

About the Hillman Prizes

This year’s honorees follow in the trailblazing tradition of past Hillman Prize winners, ranging from Murray Kempton in 1950 for his articles on labor in the South; to Edward R. Murrow in 1954 for his critical reports on civil liberties and Joseph McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare; to Julie K. Brown in 2019 for reporting on the sex crimes and sweetheart deals of Jeffrey Epstein; and Ari Berman’s 2022 reporting on voter suppression. 

The Hillman Prizes are open to journalists globally for any published reporting that is widely accessible to a U.S. audience. Winners are awarded a $5,000 prize, and a certificate designed by New Yorker cartoonist Edward Sorel.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation also awards the annual Canadian Hillman Prizes. This year, Globe and Mail reporters Robert Fife and Steven Chase won the print/digital prize for “Foreign Interference,” revealing the extent of interference by the Chinese government in Canadian politics. Their work triggered a national debate, dominated the country’s news agenda, and led to a public inquiry that is now underway.

Brandi Morin and Geordie Day won the broadcast prize for “Killer Water,” which takes the viewer inside the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta, exposing how the long-term, devastating impact of oil sands development threatens people’s health, their traditional way of life, and the very survival of their community. And Aaron Derfel of the Montreal Gazette won the local reporting prize for his exposé of a series of preventable deaths in a Montreal hospital.

The Hillman Prizes for journalism honor the legacy of Sidney Hillman, an immigrant who dedicated his life to building “a better America.” Hillman, the founder and president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, and a founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), believed that a free press was essential to a fair and equal society. The Sidney Hillman Foundation has sought to carry on his legacy by honoring journalists who illuminate the great issues of our times—from the search for a basis for lasting peace, to the need for better housing, medical care and employment for all people, and to the promotion of civil liberties, democracy and the battle against discrimination of all kinds.

Sidney's Picks: Will the UAW Unionize the South? Will Red States Jail Librarians?


The Best of the Week’s News


Sidney's Picks: NLRB Fights Back

Photo credit: 

Michael Levine Clark, Creative Commons.

  • The National Labor Relations Board’s top lawyer stands firm against the big companies challenging her agency as unconstitutional. (Guardian)

  • The Biden administration cancels more than $7 billion worth of student loans.  (WaPo)

  • A day laborer’s life in the woods of the Hamptons. (NYT)

  • The economic toll of invisible illnesses. (Time)

  • Conservative activist Leonard Leo defies subpoena to testify about Supreme Court ethics before a senate committee. (Daily Beast)