Winners

Winners in 2019 for work published in 2018
Ages at time of story publication.

Excellence in Local Reporting
Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells
Michigan Radio

In January 2018, the world watched as a united, courageous army of more than 150 survivors testified at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, the U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor who sexually abused girls and young women for more than 20 years. Then media attention moved on. Yet the story did not feel over for Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith. The team produced the podcast series “Believed,” offering a multifaceted account of Nassar’s belated arrest and an intimate look at how women - a detective, prosecutor and survivors- brought down the serial sex offender.

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Lindsey Smith, 34
Kate Wells, 31
“Big stories wind up told in broad strokes. Instead of amplifying their power, that sometimes makes them less accessible as human drama. Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells of Michigan Radio decided to go the other way, which is why their pieces on Larry Nassar grabbed me by the throat,” says Anna Quindlen. “They illuminate, not the judicial process, but the people: the uber-mom who won’t back down from a fight, the father who never suspected and whose torment suffuses his voice, the investigators and, of course, the survivors. These reporters use the small details of a big story to give it a human scale.”
Excellence in National Reporting
Chris Outcalt
The Atavist Magazine

On April 21, 2005, a 64-year-old prison gang leader, Manuel Torrez, was pummeled to death in a caged exercise yard by two fellow inmates. The murder occurred in broad daylight, under the gaze of multiple video cameras, at the highest security prison in the United States. Yet it took more than 10 years for prosecutors to secure the murder convictions. Chris Outcalt’s riveting narrative “Murder at the Alcatraz of the Rockies,” for The Atavist Magazine tells the story of the rookie FBI agent who sought to crack this case and exposes the inner workings of the Mexican Mafia, known as la Eme, a homegrown criminal prison organization.

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Chris Outcalt, 34
“The best journalism doesn’t always cover the best-known stories. Chris Outcalt’s extraordinary reporting introduces readers to sides of American life few people will ever see: life within the country’s most secure prison, an infamous gang's rules of violence and honor, and the decade-long investigation and trial of a killing that is nothing like the open-and-shut case it first appears to be,” says Bret Stephens. “Outcalt’s writing grips the reader’s attention from the first sentence to the last and doesn’t waste a word. It reminds us at every turn of the humanity of our most dangerous felons, the complexity of their motives, and the difficulty of ascertaining truth and doing justice.”
National Livingston Winner Story
Excellence in International Reporting
Davey Alba
Buzzfeed News

The recent series of triumphant, demagogic political campaigns worldwide has drawn attention to a new phenomenon: how easy it is to manipulate public opinion and spread fake news in the age of social media. Davey Alba’s BuzzFeed News investigation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s Facebook-fueled rise to power shows the Orwellian depths such campaigns can reach — and their deadly consequences.

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Davey Alba, 31
“Davey Alba’s reporting brings home the immense power of digital platforms. We see how Facebook created the ultimate walled garden in the Philippines by subsidizing the Internet, thus making Facebook synonymous not just with getting online but as the primary source of news,” says Ken Auletta. “By relying on algorithms rather than humans to police news and content, Facebook ignored how fake news went viral and was used by a corrupt government to punish opponents, sometimes with death. Rather than hire editors to police false news, Facebook engineers hubristically believed their algorithms would do the job, thus saving money. This is what they've done around the world, with sometimes bloody consequences.”
International Livingston Winner Story

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