NEW YORK – The Sidney Hillman Foundation announces today the winners of the 73rd annual Hillman Prizes for journalism, recognizing the New York Times’ extraordinary investigation into Haiti’s colonial debt; ProPublica/New Yorker’s feature on the privatization of hospice; and More Perfect Union’s agenda-setting videos explicating corporate greed.
“Investigative journalism is a pillar of our democracy that exposes injustice and calls for greater accountability from our institutions,” said Sidney Hillman Foundation President Bruce Raynor. “This year’s Hillman honorees have done exemplary work demonstrating the importance of investigative reporting in spurring public discourse and holding those in positions of authority to account.”
AL.com wins a Hillman Prize for reporting that shut down the predatory Brookside Police Department, and the first-ever Hillman for a podcast goes to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra, a gripping and deeply researched podcast about a dramatic chapter of American history, nearly a century old, but with themes that echo loudly today.
For Books, the jury selected Margaret A. Burnham’s By Hands Now Known, a paradigm-shifting investigation of Jim Crow–era violence.
This year’s prizes were judged by Jamelle Bouie, columnist, The New York Times; Maria Carrillo, former enterprise editor Tampa Bay Times/Houston Chronicle; Ta-Nehisi Coates, bestselling author and former national correspondent, The Atlantic; Alix 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.
The 2023 winners of the Hillman Prizes are:
Book – By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners, W.W Norton & Co.
Broadcast – Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra, MSNBC
Newspaper – The Ransom: The Root of Haiti’s Misery, The New York Times
Magazine – Endgame, ProPublica and The New Yorker
Web – The Rise and Fall of a Predatory Police Force, AL.com
Opinion & Analysis – The Class Room, More Perfect Union
Reporting by this year’s prize winners has had significant positive impact, including:
● AL.com’s exposé of predatory policing for profit which prompted the Alabama legislature to pass a measure restricting towns across the state from using revenues from fines and fees to supply more than 10% of their budgets
● ProPublica/New Yorker’s reporting which resulted in trade groups and government watchdog agencies joining forces to push regulators to address alarming business practices in hospice care
● The New York Times’ groundbreaking reporting, spanning centuries and continents that revealed the massive corporate and colonial heist perpetrated against Haiti, which to this day has impeded its efforts to develop its economy
● More Perfect Union’s series of educational videos that drew public attention to big pharma’s price-gouging on insulin,Ticketmaster’s monopoly, and other everyday economic injustices
The foundation also announces today that David Cole, National Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is the recipient of the 2023 George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law. David’s commitment to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties that George Barrett championed spans four decades. The Sidney Hillman Foundation grants this lifetime achievement award to an attorney who fights for justice in our court system on behalf of people who don’t have money or power.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host an in-person event with limited capacity on May 9, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.
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 and 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 and subjects globally for any published reporting widely accessible to a U.S. audience. Winners are awarded a $5,000 prize and a certificate designed by New Yorker cartoonist Edward Sorel.
In 2011, the Sidney Hillman Foundation inaugurated the Canadian Hillman Prize. This year, TorStar reporters Rachel Mendleson and Steve Buist won for “Unchartered,” which uncovered how often police violate people’s rights accorded under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and what’s being done about it.
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.