Clear It with Sidney | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

The best of the week’s news by Lindsay Beyerstein

Clear It with Sidney

Sidney's Picks: Billionaires Sue to Nix California's Farm Worker Protections

Photo credit: 

Mingo HaganCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News


  • These pomegranate barons are suing to roll back California’s protections for agricultural workers. (LAT)

  • Lawsuit alleges that KFC, McDonald’s and other major brands violated the Ku Klux Klan Act with forced prison labor. (Bloomberg)

  • Was British nurse’s conviction for the alleged murder of seven babies based on scapegoating and junk statistics? (New Yorker)

  • She ran for school board to fight Critical Race Theory in the classroom, she found there was none. (ProPublica)

  • How extremist settlers hijacked Israel’s democracy. (NYT)

Sidney's Picks: Will Mercedes Benz be the UAW's Next Big Win?

Photo credit: 

Vintage UAW sign, Joe HardenbrookCreative Commons.

​The Best of the Week’s News

Tyson Foods Dumped Tons of Toxic Chemicals; Congrats to Hillman Prize-winners!

Photo credit: 

Tori RectorCreative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News

  • Federal judges are accepting undisclosed luxury junkets. (NPR)

  • Nail salon workers face reproductive health crisis. (DocumentedNY)

  • Labor Department announces new rule to protect farm workers from wage theft and human trafficking. (Nursery Mgt)

  • Tyson Foods dumped tons of toxic chemicals—including cyanide—into U.S. waterways. (Guardian)

  • They joined the national police Explorers youth program for mentorship, only to suffer grooming and sexual abuse. (Marshall Project)

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2024 Hillman Prizes, we look forward to meeting and honoring you in New York next week!

Volkswagen "First Domino to Fall"

  • Volkswagen in Tennessee was the first “domino to fall” says United Auto Workers president Shawn Fein. (Guardian)
  • New FTC ban on non-compete clauses could raise wages by $300 billion dollars. (Nation)
  • Ninety-seven journalists have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, 16 have been wounded, and 4 are reported missing. (CPJ)
  • Supreme Court seems poised to side with Starbucks in its bid to curtail the powers of the National Labor Relations Board. (WaPo)
  • Florida charges incarcerated people $50 a day for their entire sentence, even if they are released on probation. (ABC)

Announcing the Winners of the 2024 Hillman Prizes

NEW YORK —The Sidney Hillman Foundation announces today the winners of the 74thannual Hillman Prizes for journalism:

Book – Samuel G. Freedman, Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights, Oxford University Press

Broadcast – Candice Nguyen, “911: Hanging on the Line,” NBC Bay Area News

Newspaper – Hannah Beckler, The Secret Terror Inside U.S Prisons, Business Insider 

Magazine – Josh Eidelson, The U.S. Workplace Power Struggle, Bloomberg Businessweek

The SEIU Award for Reporting on Racial and Economic Justice – Aurora Almendral, “Merchants of Care,” Type Investigations and Quartz

Opinion & Analysis – Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Business Insider wins a Hillman Prize for Hannah Beckler’s harrowing, eye-opening reporting that moved the state of Virginia to severely restrict the use of attack-trained dogs in prisons.

NBC Bay Area News wins a Hillman Prize for its breathtaking exposé of the failures of the 911 system in Oakland, California, that leaves emergency callers on hold or facing busy signals, if they can get through at all.

Labor reporter Josh Eidelson of Bloomberg Businessweek wins the magazine prize for his consistent, high-quality reporting on companies such as Dollar General, where workers face deplorable working conditions—ranging from uncontrolled vermin, to blocked fire exits, and faulty fire extinguishers—and where management rules by threats and intimidation. 

For the book prize, the judges selected Samuel G. Freedman’s Into the Bright Sunshine, from Oxford University Press, a new perspective on the legacy of Hubert Humphrey, one that focuses on his underappreciated influence on the cause of civil rights in the 1940s.

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wins the opinion and analysis prize for his indispensable columns on disinformation and the political economy.

The new 2024 SEIU Award for reporting on racial and economic justice goes to “Merchants of Care,” a series by Aurora Almendral for Type Investigations and Quartz, investigating the international bidding war for healthcare workers which has led to the rampant exploitation of migrant nurses—and left poorer health systems scrambling to cope.

This year’s prizes were judged by Jamelle Bouie, columnist for The New York TimesMaria Carrillo, former enterprise editor Tampa Bay Times/Houston ChronicleTa-Nehisi Coates, bestselling author and former national correspondent, The AtlanticAlix Freedman, global editor, Ethics and Standards, Reuters; Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large, The American Prospect; and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher, The Nation.

Reporting by this year’s prize winners has had significant positive impact:

  • After Business Insider’s investigation into the use of attack dogs on prisoners, Virginia’s corrections commissioner stepped down, and the governor signed legislation that severely restricts the use of attack dogs in state prisons.
  • Reports by NBC Bay Area News, that exposed the stunning failures of Oakland’s 911 system, finally spurred city and state leaders to address emergency communications issues.
  • After less than a year on the job, the CEO of Dollar General resigned, just three weeks after Bloomberg ran its eye-opening investigative piece. The new CEO announced plans to have more employees in the front of stores and to slow down the rapid expansions that were coming at the expense of staffing and safety.
  • In Florida, nurses subjected to coercive labor contracts recently filed a class-action lawsuit against their hospital. They were motivated by the series about the exploitation of migrant nurses, published by Type Investigations and Quartz

“The 2024 Hillman Prize winners demonstrate the critical role of the media in demanding accountability from governments, corporations, and institutions, exposing injustice and speaking truth to power,” said Sidney Hillman Foundation President Bruce Raynor. “We are proud to reward their groundbreaking work.”

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is also delighted to announce that Philippe Sands KC is the recipient of the 2024 George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law. His professional career exemplifies the public spirit and activism of George “Citizen” Barrett. Sands has distinguished himself in the best tradition of public interest law by representing people without money or power to secure their basic civil and human rights, to address the legacies of colonialism, and to protect the global environment. 

The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host a celebration of the honorees in New York, on May 7th.

About the Hillman Prizes

This year’s honorees follow in the trailblazing tradition of past Hillman Prize winners, ranging from Murray Kempton in 1950 for his articles on labor in the South; to Edward R. Murrow in 1954 for his critical reports on civil liberties and Joseph McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare; to Julie K. Brown in 2019 for reporting on the sex crimes and sweetheart deals of Jeffrey Epstein; and Ari Berman’s 2022 reporting on voter suppression. 

The Hillman Prizes are open to journalists globally for any published reporting that is widely accessible to a U.S. audience. Winners are awarded a $5,000 prize, and a certificate designed by New Yorker cartoonist Edward Sorel.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation also awards the annual Canadian Hillman Prizes. This year, Globe and Mail reporters Robert Fife and Steven Chase won the print/digital prize for “Foreign Interference,” revealing the extent of interference by the Chinese government in Canadian politics. Their work triggered a national debate, dominated the country’s news agenda, and led to a public inquiry that is now underway.

Brandi Morin and Geordie Day won the broadcast prize for “Killer Water,” which takes the viewer inside the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta, exposing how the long-term, devastating impact of oil sands development threatens people’s health, their traditional way of life, and the very survival of their community. And Aaron Derfel of the Montreal Gazette won the local reporting prize for his exposé of a series of preventable deaths in a Montreal hospital.

The Hillman Prizes for journalism honor the legacy of Sidney Hillman, an immigrant who dedicated his life to building “a better America.” Hillman, the founder and president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, and a founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), believed that a free press was essential to a fair and equal society. The Sidney Hillman Foundation has sought to carry on his legacy by honoring journalists who illuminate the great issues of our times—from the search for a basis for lasting peace, to the need for better housing, medical care and employment for all people, and to the promotion of civil liberties, democracy and the battle against discrimination of all kinds.

Sidney's Picks: Will the UAW Unionize the South? Will Red States Jail Librarians?


The Best of the Week’s News


Sidney's Picks: NLRB Fights Back

Photo credit: 

Michael Levine Clark, Creative Commons.

  • The National Labor Relations Board’s top lawyer stands firm against the big companies challenging her agency as unconstitutional. (Guardian)

  • The Biden administration cancels more than $7 billion worth of student loans.  (WaPo)

  • A day laborer’s life in the woods of the Hamptons. (NYT)

  • The economic toll of invisible illnesses. (Time)

  • Conservative activist Leonard Leo defies subpoena to testify about Supreme Court ethics before a senate committee. (Daily Beast)

Sidney's Picks: Boeing Pushed Out Safety Pros for Profit

Photo credit: 

David Stanley, Boeing 767, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News


Sidney's Picks: How the News Lost Its Nerve

The Best of the Week’s News

Three 2024 Canadian Hillman Prizes awarded for original, ground-breaking journalism

Toronto (March 19, 2024) - The Sidney Hillman Foundation announces today the winners of the 14th annual Canadian Hillman Prizes:

  • Print/Digital Prize – Steven Chase and Robert Fife at The Globe and Mail for “Foreign Interference”
  • Broadcast Prize – Brandi Morin and Geordie Day for “Killer Water,” published by Ricochet Media, Real News Network and IndigiNews
  • Local News Prize – Aaron Derfel of the Montreal Gazette for “Staff haunted by preventable deaths at Lakeshore Hospital ER

The Globe and Mail’s 2023 coverage of political interference in Canada by the Chinese government triggered a national debate, dominated the country’s news agenda, and led to a public inquiry that is now underway. This investigative series fueled discussion about the need for vigilance and stronger measures to protect Canadian democracy, values and institutions from foreign interference and espionage. 

“Killer Water” co-produced and co-directed by Brandi Morin and Geordie Day—with editing and production by Ricochet Media, Real News Network and Indiginews—goes inside the Athabaska Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta to expose how the long-term and devastating impacts of the oil sands threaten people’s health, traditional way of life, and the very survival of the community.

Aaron Derfel, the Montreal Gazette’s long-time health reporter, probed six preventable deaths –including one suicide—in the emergency room of Quebec’s Lakeshore Hospital. He discovered an ER that operates routinely at more than 150 per cent capacity, with a chronic shortage of nurses; inadequate training; sporadic oversight; and a lack of functioning equipment. 

“These journalists have demonstrated the critical role of the media in demanding accountability from governments, corporations, and institutions,” said Alex Dagg, Canadian board member of the Sidney Hillman Foundation. “We’re proud to reward their ground-breaking work.”

The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host a celebration of the honourees on April 4th in Toronto.


The Sidney Hillman Foundation honours excellence in journalism in service of the common good. U.S. Hillman Prizes have been awarded annually since 1950 and the Canadian Hillman Prize since 2011.

For more information please contact: Alexandra Lescaze:


Trois prix Hillman 2024 décernés à des lauréats canadiens pour un journalisme original et novateur

Toronto, le 19 mars 2024 – La Sidney Hillman Foundation annonce aujourd’hui les lauréats des 14e Prix canadiens Hillman :

La couverture par le Globe and Mail, en 2023 de l’ingérence politique du gouvernement chinois au Canada a déclenché un débat national, a dominé l’actualité du pays et a conduit à une enquête publique qui est en cours. Cette série d’enquêtes a alimenté le débat sur la nécessité de faire preuve de vigilance et de prendre des mesures plus strictes pour protéger la démocratie, les valeurs et les institutions canadiennes contre l’ingérence et l’espionnage étrangers. 

« Killer Water », coproduit et coréalisé par Brandi Morin et Geordie Day, monté et produit par Ricochet Media, Real News Network et Indiginews, explore la Première Nation Athabaska Chipewyan, en Alberta, pour montrer comment les effets dévastateurs à long terme des sables bitumineux menacent la santé des populations, leur mode de vie traditionnel et la survie même de la communauté.

Aaron Derfel, journaliste de longue date à Montreal Gazette, a enquêté sur six décès évitables, dont un suicide, au sein du service des urgences de l’hôpital du Lakeshore, au Québec. Il a découvert une urgence fonctionnant régulièrement à plus de 150 % de sa capacité, composant avec une pénurie chronique d’infirmières, une prestation inadéquate de formations, une surveillance sporadique et un manque d’équipements fonctionnels. 

« Ces journalistes ont démontré le rôle essentiel des médias lorsqu’il est question de reddition de comptes de la part des gouvernements, des entreprises et des institutions », explique Alex Dagg, membre canadien du conseil d’administration de la Sidney Hillman Foundation. « Nous sommes fiers de récompenser leur travail novateur ».

La Sidney Hillman Foundation tiendra une célébration des lauréats le 4 avril prochain à Toronto.


La Sidney Hillman Foundation récompense l’excellence du journalisme au service du bien commun. Les prix Hillman américains sont décernés chaque année depuis 1950 et les prix Hillman canadiens, depuis 2011.

Pour en savoir plus : Alexandra Lescaze :