Announcing the Winners of the 2024 Hillman Prizes | Hillman Foundation

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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.