Thomas Sancton, a Southern journalist who wrote articles in the 1940s advocating for racial justice, died at a nursing home in New Orleans on April 6th. He was 97.

Read his obituary in The Times-Picayune.A graduate of Tulane University, Sancton began his career reporting for The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune before joining The Associated Press and moving to New York. During his Nieman year he married Seta, who died in 2007, and left Cambridge early to become managing editor of The New Republic, a post that gave him a platform for his views on racial justice.

His essays and editorials denouncing segregation provoked outrage in some quarters, and a Mississippi congressman denounced him on the floor of the House of Representatives, an outburst that Sancton considered a badge of honor. His role as an early crusader for civil rights earned him a place in books such as The Library of America anthology “Reporting Civil Rights” and John Egerton’s “Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.”

Sancton was Washingtoneditor for The Nation before returning to New Orleans. During nine years as a feature writer for The New Orleans Item, he wrote two novels set in Louisiana, “Count Roller Skates,” later reissued as “The Magnificent Rascal,” in 1956, and “By Starlight” in 1960. Neither was the financial success he had hoped for but his first novel was optioned this year for a movie.

While at the Item, he also taught feature writing at Tulane. Among his students was John Kennedy Toole, author of “A Confederacy of Dunces.” Some of his students became so devoted to him that they held annual reunions at his house. One student told Sancton’s son, Thomas A. Sancton, a former foreign correspondent for Time magazine, that the class was like “one big church service, something to worship and treasure for life.”

In addition to his son, Sancton is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and one great-great-grandchild.


Robert A. Caro‘s fourth volume about President Lyndon Johnson, “The Passage of Power,” was published on May 1 by Knopf.

Covering the years 1958 to 1964, the book examines Johnson’s frustration about giving up the power he wielded as Senate majority leader to become vice president, his ascendency to the presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the burst of legislation that laid the groundwork for Johnson’s Great Society.

Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography: in 1975 for “The Power Broker,” about New York City planner Robert Moses, and in 2003 for “Master of the Senate,” the third volume in his “Years of Lyndon Johnson” series.

In a profile in The New York Times Magazine in April, Caro recalled a pivotal moment during his Nieman year. His class on land use and urban planning was discussing how traffic and population density determined where highways got built, and Caro thought to himself, “This is completely wrong. This isn’t why highways get built. Highways get built because Robert Moses wants them built there. If you don’t find out and explain to people where Robert Moses gets his power, then everything else you do is going to be dishonest.”


Bob Giles has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The 220 members elected this year will be inducted at a ceremony in October at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Joining Giles in the class of 2012 are Boston Globe editor Marty Baron and television journalist Judy Woodruff. The former curator of the Nieman Foundation, Giles is now commentary editor for GlobalPost.


Mike McGrady, a longtime reporter and critic for Newsday best known as the mastermind of a ribald literary spoof, died of pneumonia on May 13th in Shelton, Washington. He was 78.

Read his obituary in The New York Times.Published in the summer of 1969, “Naked Came the Stranger” was conceived by McGrady as a commentary on the declining tastes of American readers. The novel would offer little in the way of plot or style as it followed in graphic detail a suburban woman’s sexual conquests in the wake of her husband’s affair.

McGrady wrote the first chapter and drafted colleagues at Newsday to finish the book. “As one of Newsday’s truly outstanding literary talents, you are hereby officially invited to become the co-author of a best-selling novel,” McGrady wrote in his pitch to them. “There will be an unremitting emphasis on sex. Also, true excellence in writing will be quickly blue-penciled into oblivion.”

The project was delayed by McGrady’s reporting trip to Vietnam and his Nieman year, during which he and his co-editor, Newsday colleague Harvey Aronson, mailed chapters back and forth. “We found out that it’s very difficult to write badly,” Aronson said.

The book credited Penelope Ashe, a “demure Long Island housewife,” as its author, and McGrady had his sister-in-law play the role for public appearances. But after “Naked” sold 20,000 copies in the first few weeks after publication, the journalists revealed themselves as its creators. According to Aronson, the revelation created such a sensation that he and McGrady were picked up by helicopter for an interview on “CBS Evening News.”

Before McGrady’s journalism was overshadowed by “Naked,” the New York City native covered the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War as a reporter and columnist for Newsday, where he worked until 1991. After John Steinbeck, writing in Newsday, called for other American writers to come to Vietnam and see the war for themselves, McGrady convinced the paper to send him in 1967. His columns from Vietnam were honored with an award from the Overseas Press Club for best interpretation of foreign affairs, and they were republished as a book called “A Dove in Vietnam.” Later he was a film critic and restaurant reviewer.

McGrady wrote a number of novels and nonfiction books, including “Stranger Than Naked: Or, How to Write Dirty Books for Fun and Profit” and “The Kitchen Sink Papers: My Life as a House Husband.” He also was the co-author of two memoirs by “Deep Throat” star Linda Lovelace.

He is survived by his wife, Corinne, two sons, a daughter, and five grandchildren.


Daniel Rapoport, a longtime Washington journalist, died at his home in East Chatham, New York on April 11th after a long battle with leukemia. He was 79.

Read his obituary in The Washington Post.Born in New York City, Rapoport moved to Washington, D.C. in 1959 after graduating from the University of Illinois and serving in the Navy. He joined United Press International and was covering the House of Representatives at the time of his fellowship appointment.

His longstanding interests ranged from prizefighting and the inaccuracy of lie detectors to the number of lions shipped to Rome to engage in Coliseum battles, according to Nieman classmate John Pekkanen, who called Rapoport “the kindest and most gregarious man I’ve ever known.”

After leaving UPI, Rapoport wrote “Inside the House: An Irreverent Guided Tour Through the House of Representatives, From the Days of Adam Clayton Powell to Those of Peter Rodino,” published by Follett in 1975. He also wrote for National Journal and Washingtonian magazine.

In 1983 he founded Farragut Publishing, which had early success with a series of cookbooks co-written by his wife, Maxine. “He was a natural innovator,” said a Farragut colleague, Merideth Menken. “He offered profit-sharing agreements to Farragut authors and created partnerships with those who needed Farragut’s experience to ‘package’ books under their own imprints, a forerunner of today’s self-publishing movement.”

From 1984 to 1996, Farragut put out 20 nonfiction titles. “As a publisher, Dan was willing and able to follow his own instincts and interests. Farragut was like nothing before or since,” said Paul Dickson, co-author of “Baseball: The Presidents’ Game,” a Farragut book. Other titles included “On This Spot: Pinpointing the Past in Washington, D.C.,” and “Grand Allusions: A Lively Guide to Those Terms, Expressions and References You Ought to Know But Might Not,” which was reissued as “Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Allusions.”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children and one grandchild.


Patricia O’Brien‘s sixth novel, “The Dressmaker,” was published by Doubleday in February under the pseudonym Kate Alcott.

It tells the story of Tess, a passenger on the Titanic who is an aspiring seamstress working for a famous designer. She survives the disaster only to be caught up in the media frenzy that followed.

Simon & Schuster rejected the manuscript due to poor sales for O’Brien’s previous novel, “Harriet and Isabella,” which it had published. Twelve other publishers also turned it down. After her agent suggested using a pen name, it sold in three days. The critically acclaimed “Dressmaker” has spent several weeks on The New York Times extended bestseller list.


Guy Gugliotta‘s book “Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War” was published in February by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The book, his second, focuses on three men who influenced the design and construction of the building: Union Army Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, the lead engineer; architect Thomas U. Walter; and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Gugliotta, who covered Congress during a 16-year career at The Washington Post, is now a freelance science writer.


William Marimow returned as editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer at the beginning of May.

He ran the paper from 2006 to 2010 when he was reassigned to the investigative reporting team. He left the paper in 2011 to head the Carnegie-Knight News21 digital journalism program at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In a press release announcing the move, Marimow said, “It will be a privilege to work alongside newsroom colleagues who have continued to produce great journalism despite the toughest economic conditions I’ve ever experienced.”

Marimow’s return was announced just days after the sale of Philadelphia Media Network, which controls the Inquirer as well as the Philadelphia Daily News and their joint website Philly.com, to local investors.


Bert Lindler was named a hero of conservation in the April issue of Field & Stream magazine.

For the past seven years Lindler has been a volunteer caretaker for a herd of 470 elk that winter on the outskirts of Missoula, Montana. He has worked with conservation groups, state agencies, local ranchers, and homeowners to control weeds and modify fences so the elk can find food and move across the land.

Lindler was a reporter for the European edition of Stars and Stripes and the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune before becoming a technical editor for the United States Forest Service. He retired in 2010 and now describes himself as the “North Hills Elk, Bear and Weed Volunteer.”


Roberto Eisenmann received a lifetime achievement award from the Fundación Fórum de Periodistas por las Libertades de Expresión e Información (Journalist’s Forum for Freedom of Expression and Information Foundation) in Panama.

Eisenmann, the retired founder of the daily newspaper La Prensa who was exiled from Panama during the Noriega regime, was honored for his long commitment to journalists’ rights.

This is the 16th year that the foundation has given the awards. A panel of eight international journalists, including Cecilia Alvear, NF ’89, an independent multimedia journalist, made the selections.


Mark Ethridge wrote the screenplay for the independent film “Deadline,” which premiered in February and has been screened in a number of cities across the United States. It was released on DVD and other formats in July.

The film is based on his 2006 novel “Grievances,” which was in turn based on a case that Ethridge covered while working at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer in 1970. While the essence of the film—a rich white Northerner brings attention to the unsolved murder of a black man—is true to the facts, many details were changed. “The story’s not factual,” he said, “but it is true.”

Ethridge’s second novel, “Fallout,” was published in February by NewSouth Books. It’s what he calls “an ‘Old Man and the Sea’ kind of story,” about an editor at a weekly newspaper who stumbles onto a big story.

To promote “Deadline,” the filmmakers teamed up with newspapers to host screenings in 45 cities, with all of the profits going to local nonprofits, such as the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. and VOX, a group that supports teen journalists in Atlanta.

“The movie has a very positive message about journalists and journalism,” Ethridge said.


Valerie Hyman conducted a three-week training program this past fall at the National Broadcasting Corporation in Kyrgyzstan, at the request of the American Embassy. The longtime broadcast journalist said it “was an extraordinary opportunity to influence and train both journalists and executives at the center of the country’s emerging democracy. I taught how to question authorities, find stories, and give voice to people who have been quieted for so long.”


Sabine Rollberg was commissioning editor of the documentary “Sofia’s Last Ambulance,” which received the France 4 Visionary Award at the 51st La Semaine de la Critique (“Critic’s Week”) during the Cannes Film Festival in May. The film, directed by Ilian Metev, follows a team of paramedics in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, where 13 ambulances serve a population of nearly 2 million. It was produced in part by German broadcaster WDR, where Rollberg is a commissioning editor.


Norman Robinson will receive a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Club of New Orleans.

A longtime broadcast journalist who is a news anchor at WDSU-TV in New Orleans, Robinson will be recognized at the organization’s 54th annual Excellence in Journalism Awards in July. In addition to New Orleans, he has worked for broadcast outlets in Southern California, New York, and Washington, D.C., where he was a member of the White House Press Corps as a correspondent for CBS News.


Joseph Thloloe received the Order of Ikhamanga silver medal from South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma in April.

He was one of 31 people honored with national orders on Freedom Day, the anniversary of the country’s first democratic elections.

The Order of Ikhamanga recognizes South Africans who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. Thloloe, a veteran of South African journalism who is currently serving as the country’s press ombudsman, was cited for his contributions to the struggle against apartheid and his role shaping the post-apartheid media.

The relationship between the government and the press has been strained of late, with Zuma’s African National Congress party proposing a media appeals tribunal and a Protection of State Information Bill that many journalists view as a form of censorship.

Thloloe said it is “a measure of the maturity of our democracy that they overlooked our differences and gave this award. It bodes well for our democracy.”


Yossi Melman has joined the Israeli news website Walla after 27 years with the daily newspaper Haaretz. He will continue writing about security and intelligence matters.

His self-published book “Spies Against Armageddon,” co-written with CBS News reporter Dan Raviv, will be available in July on Amazon.com. It is an unofficial history of the Israeli intelligence community from 1948 to today.

He also recently published “Running: An Autobiography” in Hebrew. In the memoir he reflects on his life as a Polish boy who moved to Israel with his parents and how that history influenced him to start running marathons at age 43.


Kevin Noblet completed his term as president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) at the end of 2011.

“Past presidents warned me it was a lot of work, and it was,” he says. “But business news is now front-page news and SABEW’s work has never been more important.”


Melanie Sill has been named executive editor of Southern California Public Radio, a network of three stations. The former editor of The Sacramento Bee and The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer, she is overseeing the newsgathering operation across online and broadcast platforms. She previously spent six months as executive-in-residence at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, where she wrote the discussion paper “The Case for Open Journalism Now.”


Larry Tye has written “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” published in June by Random House. The book looks not just at the Man of Steel character but at the creators, designers, owners and performers who made him a cultural icon. Tye, who has written biographies of baseball pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige and Edward L. Bernays, the father of public relations, grew up reading Superman comics and watching nearly all 104 episodes of “Adventures of Superman” on TV. He writes in the acknowledgements that the idea for the book “came from the place so many good things do for me, my wife, Lisa.”


Laura Eggertson has been awarded the Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Investigative Journalism. A freelance journalist based in Ottawa, Eggertson plans to write about suicide among aboriginal communities in Canada. She plans to produce a series of articles in print and online and a radio documentary.

The fellowship, given annually by the Michener Awards Foundation, provides funding for a reporter pursuing an investigative project that serves the public interest.

Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich on the day it was announced that she had won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Photo by Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/via The Associated Press.

Pulitzer Prizes for Two Niemans

Seattle Times investigative reporter Ken Armstrong, NF ’01, and Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, NF ’96, have won journalism’s most prestigious award.

Read one of her award winning columns, “Troubled Daughter Grows Up.”Schmich won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “her wide range of down-to-earth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city.” Her subjects ranged from the personal to the political, from crime to the installation of a cringe-worthy statue of Marilyn Monroe.

After the announcement, Schmich, who had been a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for feature writing as well as last year for commentary, wrote about how she got started as a columnist 20 years ago and what she has learned since:

“On a chilly afternoon in the April I arrived, I sat in a Coffee Chicago with a yellow pad … . I wrote down things like: Go out. Get to know people. Introduce Chicago people to each other. Make the city visible. Make it feel like a small town. Stories! … After that, one story at a time, I began to make sense of this amazing, chaotic place. It was like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle, one you can never get entirely assembled because pieces keep vanishing and new pieces keep turning up.”

Read the first installment in their series, “State Pushes Drug That Saves Money, Costs Lives.” Armstrong and fellow reporter Michael J. Berens’s series “Methadone and the Politics of Pain” was one of two winners in the investigative reporting category. The prize was given “for their investigation of how a little known governmental body in Washington State moved vulnerable patients from safer pain-control medication to methadone, a cheaper but more dangerous drug, coverage that prompted statewide health warnings.”

A week after the series was published in December 2011, the state announced that it would issue an emergency public-health advisory to more than 1,000 pharmacists and about 17,000 licensed health care professionals, warning of the risks associated with taking methadone. In January the state went further, instructing physicians to treat methadone as a drug of last resort.

The series also won the Selden Ring Award and an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award.

The reporters announced that they would donate their $10,000 Pulitzer Prize to provide IRE training to their colleagues at The Seattle Times. “We just wanted to find a way to do something for the paper and something for IRE,” Armstrong said. “IRE, more than any other organization you can think of, is the group that people turn to when they want to learn this craft and they want to be inspired. And to me, those two things are equally important.”

—Jonathan Seitz

Seattle Times reporter Ken Armstrong is congratulated in the newsroom on the day the 2012 Pulitzers were announced. Photo by Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times.


Julia Keller will join the faculty at Ohio University this fall, teaching writing in the journalism department. She had been the cultural critic at the Chicago Tribune.

“It’s been an extraordinary journey for me,” Keller told Time Out Chicago about her tenure at the Tribune, where she had worked since 1998. “I was given the chance to write about anything and everything, from a long series on traumatic brain injury to a series on the aftermath of the Utica, Illinois, tornado. … Not too shabby for a kid from Huntington, West Virginia.”

Keller has taught at a number of universities and written three books, including “A Killing in the Hills,” which is being published by St. Martin’s Press in August. It’s a mystery set in her home state about a mother and daughter with a strained relationship who have to work together to solve a bizarre murder.

Keller won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her stories about the Utica tornado.


Santiago Lyon has been promoted at The Associated Press. He is now a vice president in addition to continuing as director of photography, a position he has held since December 2003. He says that he will continue “to be involved in working closely with AP Images, AP’s photo licensing arm, to grow AP’s photo business, as well as ongoing cross-format leadership activities in AP’s

news department.”

Lyon has been with the AP since 1991, when he joined as a photographer based in Cairo.


Eliza Griswold has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. The journalist and poet plans to spend her fellowship year working on three projects: a collection of poems to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2013, a book based on a New York Times Magazine story she wrote about poetry in Afghanistan, and a book about the fall of manmade America and the nation’s collective poverty. The fellowships, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, provide funding to writers, scholars and scientists to work on projects of their choosing.


Kondwani Munthali was named Malawi’s Blogger of the Year by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) during its World Press Freedom Day celebrations in May.

This is the first year that MISA has given the award, with financial support from the U.S. Embassy. The recipient was selected by a vote of journalists who are members of the organization. “I am proud that my peers, who form the majority of my critics, thought this was the best out of my Motherland Malawi,” Munthali wrote in a blog post after the announcement.

When Munthali started blogging during his Nieman year, he mainly posted his opinions on issues ranging from global health to youth empowerment programs. Recently he has focused more on news, and he has occasionally faced harsh criticism and reprisals for his writing, especially during the political turmoil in Malawi over the past two years, he said in an interview posted on Global Voices Online.

Anja Niedringhaus, NF ’07, won first place in a spot news photography category of the National Headliner Awards. “Shot Down” shows a Libyan warplane moments before it crashed to the ground. Niedringhaus works for The Associated Press.


Kael Alford‘s photographs from Louisiana are featured at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work is part of the “Picturing the South” exhibit on display until September. A companion book, “Bottom of da Boot,” has been published by Fall Line Press. She has spent the last five years documenting the effects of erosion on Louisiana, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill, as part of a commission from the museum.

According to Alford, “Like the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, what is being lost on the coast of Louisiana is more than a neighborhood or a

storm buffer. It’s a piece of our collective memory and a unique piece of heritage that defines us as a nation.”


Hannah Allam joined McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. bureau on July 1st, covering foreign affairs as part of the national security reporting team.

For the past nine years, Allam has worked for McClatchy in the Middle East, serving as bureau chief in Baghdad and Cairo. She gave birth to a son, Bilal, while covering the Iraq War. In a Facebook posting announcingher new position, Allam said that her time abroad was “exhilarating,” but that she’s “excited about the new beat, the chance for Bilal to be closer to his grandmas and cousins, and the prospect of an occasional day off.”


David Jackson and colleague Gary Marx at the Chicago Tribune won the 2011 Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism for their series, “Across the Border, Beyond the Law,” about how flaws in the justice system allow fugitives to leave the United States and evade the law. Their series identified dozens of criminals from Chicago, including a priest charged with sexual assault, who had fled the country.

The Medill Medal is awarded annually by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism to the individual or team of journalists “who best displayed moral, ethical or physical courage in the pursuit of a story or series of stories.”

“In their work, Marx and Jackson blend old-fashioned reporting shoe-leather, exhaustive public records searches and fierce courage in confronting international fugitives on their home turfs,” said Medill Professor Donna Leff, who led the judging. “The reporters wandered in areas known for harboring drug cartels that rule by assassination and kidnapping and through their fearless work, showed how the Justice Department, county prosecutors and local police could have found these fugitives from justice.”

On an 18-day trip to Mexico, the two reporters found eight of the nine fugitives they were seek-ing. Two agreed to interviews.

The series was a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.


Tommy Tomlinson has been hired to write for a joint venture of USA Today Sports Media Group and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. The partnership plans to launch a website this summer. He’ll be writing about all sports, with an emphasis on college football.

Tomlinson spent the last 23 years at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, where he has been a local columnist since 1997. In his final column, he wrote, “When I decided to leave the Observer, I had two main reasons: I’d never been part of something that was starting from the ground up, and I didn’t want to be an old man sitting on my porch wondering,”What if I had tried that?.”


Lisa Mullins received a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Mullins was recognized as an outstanding anchor in the news/news magazine category for her work on Public Radio International’s “The World,” which she has anchored since 1998.


Hui Sui Fun‘s “Misjudged Cases” was one of two documentaries from Hong Kong-based TVB Jade Channel that received a 2011 Peabody Award. Her documentary focuses on unjust arrests and prosecutions.

The George Foster Peabody Awards are given annually by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to honor excellence in television, radio and the Web.


Gary Knight‘s photographs are featured in the new book “Questions Without Answers: The World in Pictures by the Photographers of VII,” a retrospective of work by members of photo agency VII.

His photo essays are “Evidence: War Crimes in Kosovo,” in which he takes a forensic approach to photographing the former Yugoslavia after the indictment of Serbia’s President Slobodan Milosevic; “The Bridge,” about one of the first major assaults of the Iraq war; and “Amongst the Poor,” which grew out of Knight’s journeys through India over a two-year period.

Knight is director of the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice at Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.


Carlotta Gall has been signed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to write a book about what the publisher calls “America’s long occupation of Afghanistan, from 9/11 to the present, a Vietnam-esque tragedy that leaves behind a country in turmoil.” Gall, a reporter for The New York Times, has been based in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.


Kristen Lombardi was part of the Center for Public Integrity/NPR investigation, “Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities,” that won the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) 2011 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Online Journalism.

The series looked at hundreds of cities across the US where efforts to clean up air pollution have fallen far short of expectations. More than 20 years after clean air legislation was passed, many communities are still exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer and other health problems.

SPJ judges said the series “fully utilizes the tenets of online journalism to uncover an important issue. The in-depth stories, photography and video give readers an immersive experience on what it feels like to live near a company that is on the EPA’s watch list. … Upon its publication, the EPA posted data on its website. One state cracked down on a polluter. Other media caught on to the story and published their own pieces and reaction to the work.”

Lombardi has been on staff at the Center for Public Integrity since 2007. She won the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi award in the same category for “Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice.”


Raquel Rutledge and her affiliate John Diedrich were part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel team that won a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting for “A Case of Shattered Trust.” The series also won first place in the investigative category of the Association of Health Care Journalists’ (AHCJ) Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism and a 2012 Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in business reporting.

In the paper’s investigation, contaminated alcohol wipes emerged as the suspected culprit behind illnesses and deaths in hospitals, including that of 2-year-old Harrison Kothari. The reporters discovered that for a decade a Wisconsin firm had frequently violated federal rules for making sterile products, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had taken little action.

“While the FOI effort alone could constitute a first-place award, the reporting was humanized and made intensely relevant when the writers introduced us to the Kothari family’s loss,” the AHCJ judges said. “Overall, this effort exemplifies best practices in multimedia storytelling, with graphics, compelling photos, and riveting video. This will become a hallmark for how to accomplish public service reporting.”


Pir Zubair Shah has been named the 2012-2013 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. The fellowship provides an opportunity for a foreign correspondent or editor to focus on sustained analysis of events abroad. Shah, who has reported for The New York Times in Pakistan, intends to work on what he calls a “politically relevant memoir of growing up in Pakistan.” The book will examine the nation’s past and present in an effort to predict its future.

To submit a note about a new job, project or award, please reach us at nreditor@harvard.edu or Nieman Reports, One Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Most popular articles from Nieman Reports

Show comments / Leave a comment