Winners of the National Press Club Journalism Awards

From a story on by Will Lester headlined “Voice of America, ProPublica among National Press Club Journalism Award winners”:

Voice of America won a National Press Club Journalism Award for coverage of the Trump administration’s attempts to redirect and censor VOA coverage. ProPublica won awards for consumer news and political news. Those news outlets were just two among a host of winners for outstanding coverage of events in 2020.

The Club’s awards announcement event will be held online on Jan. 6 at 6:30 p.m. The program will be streamed on and our YouTube channel.

ProPublica won the Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis for its coverage of Trump administration efforts to interfere with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to downplay the impact of COVID-19.

VOA won the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism-broadcast award for its coverage of the pressure on itself -– a difficult assignment.

Among the many winners: The Associated Press coverage of abuses at Asian palm oil plantations won for consumer journalism, and Kaiser Health News and The Guardian won the Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism award for their coverage of the exhausting experience of health care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A winner of the Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award was a yearlong investigation by Los Angeles Times reporters exposing fraud by a celebrity animal protection activist.


Consumer Journalism-Newspapers

“Fruits of Labor” by Associated Press reporters Margie Mason and Robin McDowell, who spent two years reporting the series, which exposed systemic human and labor trafficking abuses in large palm oil plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Consumer Journalism-Periodicals

ProPublica’s booster seat story, which judges felt checked every box in this category. It had leaked documents, dogged reporting, government failures and real impact.

Consumer Journalism-Broadcast

An NBC News report brings much-needed attention to the plight of patients who depend on an unreliable postal system to deliver life-saving medication.

Breaking News

Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News for breaking news about the COVID-19 pandemic in the White House.

Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence

The VICE on Showtime entry, “The Unreachables,” about children separated from their parents at the Southern border.

Washington Regional Reporting

Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer for outstanding reporting during the 2020 presidential election.

Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism

Print: David Levinthal of Insider for his exposure of reporters and media executives making personal donations to political campaigns.

Broadcast: Voice of America: Through courageous reporting and actions, the VOA staff made known the story of the Trump administration attempts to censor and redirect the agency’s coverage.

Newsletter Journalism

In a series of stories from August to November 2020, Communications Daily reporters Adam Bender and Jonathan Make illuminated problems plaguing the 911 system in Washington, D.C.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award

Print: A yearlong investigation by Los Angeles Times reporters Paul Pringle, Alene Tchekmedyian and David Pierson produced shocking findings of fraud about celebrity animal protection activist Marc Ching.

Broadcast: “Harp Seals” by correspondent TJ Holmes and the production team at “Good Morning America” is a powerful and tragic illustration of the dire threats facing animals affected by climate change and global warming trends.

Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award

Kaiser Health News and The Guardian, for a 10-part series that dramatically chronicled the mounting fear and frustration coupled with the dedication of health care professions dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19.

Angele Gingras Humor Award

Jack Hough of Barron’s found humor in financial and investment news targeting Davos, pandemic stock prices, and TikTok.

Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism

Byron Tau of The Wall Street Journal, for a series of stories on federal data tracking — a critical new topic that has become increasingly important and controversial.

Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics

The Center for Public Integrity and reporters Liz Essley Whyte, Susan Ferriss and Carrie Levine, for obtaining and analyzing COVID-19 data that exposed that by December 2020 South Dakota had experienced more nursing home deaths than any other state. Their entry also highlighted problems with treating patients with disabilities.

Michael A. Dornheim Award

Kiera Feldman of the Los Angeles Times for her yearlong, in-depth investigative report, “Toxic Fumes on Airplanes Makes Crews, Fliers Sick,” which revealed that toxic fumes from jet engine oil and other aviation fluids seep into the air on planes with alarming frequency.

Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis

James Bandler, Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg of ProPublica, for an investigative piece exposing the extent of the interference by President Donald Trump and his aides in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to downplay the impact of COVID-19 as the pandemic surged. There were also internal stumbles with testing, all combining to hurt the public’s trust in the health care system.


Consumer Journalism-Periodicals

ProPublica’s “Pandemic Profiteers” was compelling storytelling on a uniquely timely topic.

Breaking News

A team from ThisIsReno, an online local news outlet that is publicly funded, used a variety of formats in its coverage of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest that had a violent offshoot.

Washington Regional Reporting

Maria Recio for her body of work with the Austin American-Statesman and Texas Monthly.

Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism-Print

Paul Farhi of The Washington Post for his usual perceptive coverage of media issues.

Newsletter Journalism

Allie Reed, Madison Alder and Holly Barker of Bloomberg Industry Group explored how the COVID-19 virus is changing the way federal and state court systems operate. In a three-story package, they outlined the challenges of online judicial proceedings but also highlighted some advantages of conducting them by Zoom.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award

Print: Series of stories on threats facing animals around the world, by Douglas Main, National Geographic.

Broadcast: “Rabbit Run,” Jim DeFede, CBS Miami, WFOR-TV. “Rabbit Run” documents the efforts of a small group of animal protection activists working to expose the secret training practices within the greyhound racing industry.

Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award

The Marshall Project,, IndyStar and Invisible Institute, for a series that took a critical look at a little-noticed but major problem in law enforcement — the sometimes violent and even fatal attacks of police dogs during minor incidents or even against innocent people.

Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism

The Daily Beast‘s reporting team of Sam Brodey, Lachlan Markay and Will Bredderman, for uncovering Georgia lawmakers’ stock trading.

Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics

Columnist Judith Graham of Kaiser Health News provides in her work a voice for both the elderly and those who care for them. This was especially valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael A. Dornheim Award

John Donnelly of CQ-Roll Call, for more excellent reporting on military issues that often gets results.

Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis

In a series of prescient stories about the 2020 presidential election, Cameron Joseph of Vice News laid out what would happen from President Donald Trump’s attacks on the electoral system and his threat to not concede the election if he lost –- delays, court fights and violence.

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