Banner Image for Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism
From left: 2020 Nieman Fellows Oliver Roeder and Ana Campoy; CPI’s Carla Minet and Omaya Sosa Pascual; 2020 fellows Selymar Colón and Andras Petho. Martha Stewart

Awards & Conferences

Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism

2024 Winner

Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Nikolov

Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Nikolov

Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Nikolov is winners of the 2024 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. The 2024 Nieman Fellows recognized Nikolov for showing that independent watchdog journalism for the public good is possible even in a country at war, where media outlets operate under tight restrictions and where reporting on government corruption is particularly sensitive. The fellows added: “Nikolov’s high-profile corruption investigations into alleged graft in the Ukrainian military shine a light on the importance of watchdog reporting even in the most dire of circumstances. At great personal and reputational risk, Nikolov’s reporting has asked for accountability in the use of public funds, even while his country continues to fight Russia’s invasion.”

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Comments from 2024 Lyons Award winner Yuriy Nikolov

About the Award

Nieman Fellows in the class of 1964 established the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism in May 1964 to honor the Nieman curator who retired that year. The award recognizes displays of conscience and integrity by individuals, groups or institutions in communications.

Each class of Nieman Fellows decides whether to present the award during their Nieman year.

Lyons, the second curator of the Nieman Foundation, had a distinguished career as an editor and reporter before he came to Harvard to join the first class of Nieman Fellows in the fall of 1938. He served as curator of the foundation from 1939 until 1964, expanding the fellowship in a number of significant ways including opening the program to women, people of color and international journalists.

The Nieman class of 1964 selected Vietnam correspondents as the first recipient of the Lyons Award. The class of 1965 gave the award posthumously to broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, and the class of 1966 honored Wilson Minor of The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

No awards were made again until 1981, when the program was reinstituted by Curator James C. Thomson Jr. and given posthumously to Joe Alex Morris Jr. of the Los Angeles Times, who was killed while covering the Iranian Revolution.

A plaque that hangs in Walter Lippmann House, home of the Nieman Foundation, records the name of all winners. The award carries a $2,500 honorarium.


Year Recipient
March 2024
For showing that independent watchdog journalism for the public good is possible even in a country at war, where media outlets operate under tight restrictions 
March 2023
For their steadfast commitment to producing courageous journalism about issues in Iran affecting women, including the 2022 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini
April 2022
For its unwavering commitment to covering the women of Afghanistan, who have been silenced and terrorized under Taliban control
April 2021
For its uncompromising coverage of the erosion of human rights, social justice and democracy in India
January 2020
For the relentless pursuit of the truth and exposing issues that might otherwise go unreported and for holding the powerful accountable through work that has directly impacted the politics of Puerto Rico.
February 2019
Marisa Kwiatkowski, The Indianapolis Star
For her years of work exposing shortfalls in systems designed to protect children as well as her contributions to the team that reported exhaustively about the sexual abuse charges brought against Larry Nassar, formerly the team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a physician at Michigan State University.
February 2018
Elena Milashina, Novaya Gazeta
For her ground-breaking and persistent investigative reporting on human rights abuses in Russia while enduring threats from powerful figures.
February 2017
Lewis W. Diuguid, The Kansas City Star
For his commitment to excellence in journalism and his efforts to promote newsroom diversity, civil rights, social justice and equality
Spring 2016
Yang Jisheng, Chinese author
For his work that speaks to the effort of every journalist globally who faces enormous obstacles in reporting.
March 2015
Hasan Cemal, Turkish journalist
For championing a free press in Turkey and in honor of all Turkish journalists working under adverse conditions.
February 2014
Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly
For tenacious investigations into wrongful convictions, which exposed deep flaws in the criminal justice system
February 2013
Marcela Turati, Proceso magazine
For her professional excellence and leadership at a time when Mexican journalists face grave peril in covering the drug war 
November 2011
Mohammad Nabbous, killed in Libya 2011
For all those like him who spread the news of the “Arab Spring” uprisings
November 2010
Mohamed Olad Hassan, British Broadcasting Corporation, The Associated Press
For courageous reporting and an enduring commitment to the people of Somalia
November 2009
Lasantha Wickrematunge, Sri Lankan editor
For daring to stand up, at the cost of his life, for freedom of the press and human rights
For their bravery in delivering the news from one of the most dangerous reporting environments in the world
May 2009
Fatima Tlisova, independent journalist
For bearing witness to the hidden truths of a violent place
Chauncey Bailey, Oakland Post
For his fearless investigative reporting and tireless advocacy for the black community
William Worthy, Baltimore Afro-American
For daring to blaze a path in coverage of global news
Hu Shuli, Caijing magazine
For determined reporting on stories of dire importance to the world
Atwar Bahjat, Al Arabiya-TV
Posthumous award for bravery in describing life in her native Iraq
Shahla Sherkat, founding publisher, Zanan magazine
For covering politics and domestic abuse of Iranian women
Zhanna Litvina, Belarus founder, Association of Journalists
For keeping Belarus’s journalists sane and safe
Mark Chavunduka, founding editor, The Zimbabwe Standard
For his struggle for independence that rallied journalists in Zimbabwe
For its commitment to aid journalists in peril
1998 – 2001
No winners
Goenawan Mohamad, founding editor, Tempo magazine, Indonesia
For courage in publishing news despite government repression
Raymond T. Bonner, The New York Times
For fearless, independent foreign reporting
Olatunji Dare, editorial chair, Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria
For resigning rather than bow to government terms of self-censorship
Abdelhamid Benzine, editor, Alger Republicain, Algeria
For his struggle for a free press despite being forced into exile
Journalists of Oslobodjenje, (Liberation) in Sarajevo
For keeping their newspaper alive despite Serbian attacks
Jean Mario Paul, Radio Antilles Internationale, Haiti
For reporting on corruption despite government intimidation
For efforts to gain national democratic freedoms while facing threats to life
For reporting on Colombian drug wars despite threats and murders of colleagues
Helena Luczywo, Polish underground journalist
For reporting objectively, despite dangers facing a clandestine paper
Monica Gonzalez, Chilean journalist
For courageous reporting despite Pinochet’s attempts to silence her
Zwelakhe Sisulu, South African editor
For giving black South Africans a voice during Apartheid
Violeta Chamorro, La Prensa
For her efforts to keep a free press alive in Nicaragua
Allister Sparks, London Observer, The Washington Post
For courageous and meritorious reporting from South Africa
Maria Olivia Monckeberg, Analisis Magazine
For coverage of Chile despite government attack and arrest
Tom Renner, Newsday
For documenting organized crime’s reach into the lives of Americans
Joseph Thloloe, South African journalist
For refusing to compromise ideals despite a repressive regime
Joe Alex Morris Jr., Los Angeles Times, killed in Iran, 1979
For his fairness and untiring quest for truth
1967 – 1980
No winners
Wilson F. Minor, The Times-Picayune
For investigative reporting that opened doors of a closed society
Ralph Nader
For Unsafe At Any Speed, an investigation of auto safety of the highest order
Edward R. Murrow, CBS News
For his courage in confronting Senator McCarthy
Vietnam Reporters: Neil Sheehan, UPI; Malcolm Browne, AP; David Halberstam, The New York Times
For reporting the truth