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University of Wisconsin–Madison

2021 Shadid Award Finalists

Photo of stack of brochures about the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics

Announcing the finalists for the 2021 Shadid Award

The judges for the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics are honored to select five outstanding entries as finalists for the 2021 award from an impressive field of nominations. 

The Shadid Award honors journalists who exhibit a strong commitment to ethical journalism by acting with integrity, honoring ethical principles in their reporting or resisting pressure to compromise ethical principles. 

The finalists are: 

  • Agnes Chang, Adriana Gallardo, Loren Holmes, Kyle Hopkins, Marc Lester, Anne Raup, Nadia Sussman and Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica. In their series, “Unheard,” this team of journalists and photographers gathered the stories and created portraits of people affected by sexual assault in Alaska. According to the nomination, the project represents a “new kind of collaborative journalism rooted in trust and respect for 29 Alaskans who have stepped forward to share their stories.”
  • Amy Silverman, Beena Raghavendran, Maya Miller, Shoshana Gordon, Alex Devoid, Mamta Popat, Rebecca Monteleone (University of Toledo), Arizona Daily Star and ProPublica. State of Denial: Inside Arizona’s Division of Developmental Disabilities” investigated the failings of the State of Arizona’s services for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their nomination describes how they included the voices of those with disabilities and published a “plain language” version of the story to make it accessible to those with disabilities. 
  • Mara Rose Williams, Eric Adler, Mike Hendricks, Cortlynn Stark and Shelly Yang, Kansas City Star. In “The Truth in Black and White: An Apology from the Kansas City Star,” Star reporters did a deep dive into the 140-year history of the paper, unveiling a legacy of disrespecting, disregarding and disenfranchising the city’s Black citizens. In making themselves the target of their own investigation, the reporters sought to mark a new beginning. Their nomination reads: “we hope, over time, to set things right, in ways both substantive and symbolic.” 
  • Amy Brittain, Reena Flores and Bishop Sand, Washington Post. In the seven-part podcast “Canary: The Washington Post Investigates,” reporters explore the decisions of two women to share their accounts of sexual assault and the consequences of those choices. According to the nomination, the team worked hard to take advantage of the intimacy of audio storytelling without sensationalizing the pain of their sources.

“We had a really outstanding group of submissions this year, covering a wide range of subjects and styles,” said Lucas Graves, judging chair and UW–Madison professor of journalism and mass communication. “What our five finalists have in common is bringing injustice to light while showing extraordinary care for the communities being reported on. We’re proud to have the chance to honor their work.”

Recent winners of the award include the ProPublica and Chicago Tribune team that reported on the use of seclusion in Illinois Public Schools and the Miami Herald reporters who investigated how wealthy hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein covered up his crime of sexually assaulting underage girls.

ABOUT ANTHONY SHADID: The award is named for Anthony Shadid, a UW-Madison journalism alumnus and foreign reporter for the Washington Post and The New York Times. Shadid won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and informed journalism. He died in February 2012 while reporting in Syria.

Anthony Shadid works with students on a visit to the UW-Madison campus in 2010.

Shadid had a special connection to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, its School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Center for Journalism Ethics. He sat on the Center’s advisory board and was a strong supporter of its aim to promote public interest journalism and to stimulate discussion about journalism ethics.

ABOUT THE CENTER: The mission of the Center for Journalism Ethics is to encourage the highest standards in journalism ethics worldwide. We foster vigorous debate about ethical practices in journalism and provide a resource for producers, consumers and students of journalism. We honor the best in ethical journalistic practice and will not hesitate to call attention to journalistic failings. The Center is housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.