Winners of the 2021 Nonprofit News Awards

A story from the Institute for Nonprofit News headlined “Nonprofit News Awards’:

The Nonprofit News Awards are designed to recognize areas in which nonprofit newsrooms excel, including  deep and expert explanatory coverage, investigative reporting, extensive  newsroom collaboration and civic coverage, community-building and the expansion of public engagement and trust — elements that are reshaping and restoring news media.

See the story for the complete list of winners. Here are several that stand out.


WINNER: Charles Lewis — Executive Editor of Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University

Lewis, a former ABC News and CBS News “60 Minutes” producer, founded two Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organizations: the award-winning, nonprofit Center for Public Integrity (1989) and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (1997), the first global network of premier investigative reporters to develop and publish online multimedia exposés across borders. Lewis is the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop and the author of “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity” (2014).


WINNER: Mukhtar Ibrahim — Founder, Editor and Executive Director of Sahan Journal

Ibrahim is a leader not only for Sahan Journal, one of the truly bright lights in journalism to emerge in recent times. He also has created an opportunity, through Sahan Journal, for the future Minnesotan majority to see itself in action in real time. And he’s demonstrated for the rest of the field how to hold fast to the core principles and practices of great journalism, while also publicly articulating his, and Sahan Journals, commitment to service and change.bIbrahim previously covered Minneapolis city government and local affairs for the Star Tribune and wrote about national security and immigration for Minnesota Public Radio News.


WINNER: SJV Water and Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, “The Central California Town That Keeps Sinking

This entry rose to the top of a very competitive field because it so beautifully illustrates three key aspects of news partnerships: one, the partners chose areas of strength that complemented each other, which allowed them to achieve reporting together that would have been challenging or impossible separately, as a one-person newsroom being supported by eight staff members at CCIJ. Two, their partnership exponentially increased the impact of the reporting, with the story being co-published by The New York Times and translated for republishing opportunities in Mexico, Central America, South America, and Africa. Finally, the scale of the data investigation, which involved sifting through more than 1 million records, was combined with photographs, animation and graphics to create a compelling and clear narrative for a complex subject.


WINNER: Mississippi Free Press

Mississippi Free Press is doing super impressive work on all fronts – journalism that doesn’t just inform Mississippians but also leads the way for national readers and media outlets. They have created a statewide presence in a short period of time and they clearly have very strong growth in revenue size and diversity. Their projects are innovative and approach the audience as partner, and they are performing genuinely leading edge work on building a young, diverse audience.


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