New York Times Wins 3 Polk Awards
The New York Times won three George Polk Awards, two for its coverage of the war in Ukraine and one for an investigation into Hasidic Jewish schools in New York that denied students a basic education.
On Monday, Long Island University, which has run the prestigious Polk Awards for journalism since 1949, announced winners in 15 categories chosen from 515 submissions. A special award went to the youngest ever recipient of a Polk.
“Interestingly, a lot of reporters went after large, thematic stories, like the role of private equity companies in buying up hospitals, private homes and apartment complexes,” John Darnton, the curator of the awards, said in a statement. “And the war in Ukraine produced superb war reporting, done at great peril.”
The Times won the prize for foreign reporting. That submission included daily reporting on the war in Ukraine as well as a feature by Roger Cohen on President Vladimir V. Putin’s “22-year slide from statesman to tyrant” in Russia. The Times’s submission also included “Putin’s War,” a 13,000-word, two-month investigation that exposed Russia’s powerful military as unprepared, ill-equipped and badly managed.
The Times also won the education reporting award for work by Eliza Shapiro and Brian M. Rosenthal that exposed how private schools in New York’s Hasidic Jewish community were failing to provide students with an adequate education, despite receiving more than a quarter of a billion dollars in public funds annually.
Lynsey Addario of The Times won the photojournalism award for a photo that captured the horror in Ukraine. In the photo, the bodies of a Ukrainian mother, her two children and a family friend lay on the ground after they were killed by Russian mortar fire while trying to flee Ukraine. The citation for the award noted that Ms. Addario “dove for cover as the shell landed and then took the gruesome photo on instinct.”
The award for war reporting was given to Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko and Lori Hinnant of The Associated Press. The A.P. was the last remaining Western news organization in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol after it came under fire from Russia, and the team of journalists documented the siege for almost three weeks before escaping.
The national reporting award went to Josh Gerstein, Alex Ward, Peter Canellos and the staff of Politico for their stunning scoop on a rare leak from the Supreme Court: a draft of the ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, upending the constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years. The official decision from the court came less than two months later. Politico continued its reporting with articles that examined the court’s conservative majority and its hunt for the leaker of the draft.
John Archibald, Ashley Remkus and Ramsey Archibald of the news website AL.com won the prize for local reporting for an investigation into how the police force of the tiny town of Brookside, Ala., preyed on poorer residents with an aggressive increase in traffic citations and vehicle seizures, resulting in 640 percent growth in the town’s revenues over two years.
The Reuters series “Undocumented and Underage,” by Joshua Schneyer, Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke, which also focused on Alabama, won for state reporting. The Reuters team revealed the widespread use of migrant children for illegal labor at factories that supply auto parts to Hyundai and Kia, as well as at chicken plants.
The health reporting award went to Kendall Taggart, John Templon, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed News for their investigation into the dire conditions at a chain of group homes for people with disabilities after it was bought by KKR, a private equity firm.
Ian Allison and Tracy Wang from the online cryptocurrency publication CoinDesk won the financial reporting honor for their work in exposing problems in the relationship between Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX and his trading firm, Alameda Research. The article set in motion the rapid implosion of both firms, and days later, FTX filed for bankruptcy. FTX customers and traders have lost billions of dollars, and Mr. Bankman-Fried is facing federal fraud charges.
A six-part series, “The Amazon, Undone,” by Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post, won the environmental reporting prize. It illuminated the ways in which Brazil has failed to protect the rainforest, pushing it to the brink of destruction.
The justice reporting award went to Brett Murphy of ProPublica for his investigation into the pseudoscience of “911 call analysis,” which claims to assess a caller’s guilt based on speech patterns. His articles pointed to more than 100 cases in 26 states where the technique was used in criminal cases.
The prize for political reporting went to Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, Ana Ceballos, Mary Ellen Klas and the staff of the Miami Herald for their articles examining how refugees were lured under false pretenses onto flights from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, under the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
The foreign television award went to Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Kavitha Chekuru and Laila Al-Arian for “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh,” a segment on Al Jazeera English’s Fault Lines program. The team examined the shooting death by the Israeli military of Ms. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who was reporting in the West Bank.
Shimon Prokupecz, a senior crime and justice correspondent for CNN, and his crew were honored for national television reporting for their coverage of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers, and of law enforcement’s delay in challenging the gunman.
A special award was given to Theo Baker, a student at Stanford University and a reporter for The Stanford Daily, for uncovering allegations that some research papers co-written by Stanford University’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, contained manipulated images. The university is now investigating the allegations. Mr. Baker, 18, is the son of two journalists — Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan B. Glasser of The New Yorker, and is the youngest recipient of a Polk Award, according to Mr. Darnton.
The Sydney H. Schanberg prize, which honors long-form investigative journalism, was awarded to Alex Perry, a freelance journalist who chronicled a 2021 ISIS attack in a remote town in Mozambique for Outside magazine.