The winner of the 2017 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics is Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer for his reporting on U.S. private prisons. He will be presented with the award in a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2017.
Six projects that combined aggressive reporting on important issues with care for the consequences of that reporting were finalists for the 2017 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.
The 2017 winner was chosen from among six outstanding examples of journalism that displayed high ethical standards in the pursuit of truth, said judging chair Jack Mitchell.
The finalists were:
- Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer, who wrestled with the problem of journalistic deception when he spent four months undercover as a prison guard in a corporate-run Louisiana prison.
- The Spotlight team at the Boston Globe, which made sophisticated judgments in choosing when to identify victims and accused abusers while investigating sex abuse at New England private schools.
- In her series “Venezuela Undone,” Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier balanced journalistic objectivity with her human instinct to help victims as she showed the human cost of Venezuela’s crumbling infrastructure.
- Kathy Gannon’s “Honor Bound” series for the Associated Press took fairness and balance to an unusual level by seeking to understand the motives of men in some parts of the world who torture and murder women.
- The Palm Beach Post chose public awareness of a not widely recognized problem over individual privacy when it devoted its front page to the photos of every person in Palm Beach County who had died from a heroin-related overdose in 2015.
- In her report published in The Guardian, reporter Lauren Wolfe had to weigh whether publishing a story would do more harm than good as she brought international attention to the plight of young girls being kidnapped and raped in a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Shadid Award honors journalists who, individually or as a team, exhibit a strong commitment to ethical journalism by acting with integrity, honoring ethical principles in their practice and/or resisting pressure to compromise ethical principles.
While many stress the hard work of skilled journalists who write compelling stories that serve the public interest, the Shadid Award focuses on the ethical aspects of excellent journalism – the degree to which journalists honor ethical aims and standards.