Social Justice Journalism – 2008
James Aronson Lifetime Achievement to Les Payne:
Les Payne is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked for 28 years at Newsday as a reporter,foreign correspondent, columnist and associate editor. In 1974, he shared a Pulitzer for his investigative work on the heroin trail from Turkey to the United States. A co-founder and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, he was inducted into NABJ’s Hall of Fame in 2008. Murray Kempton once described Payne as “a great editor because he is always his own man.” Payne has trained generations of reporters to cover the basics and to dig deeper; his news staffs won every major award in journalism, including six Pulitzer Prizes. His mantra as reporter, editor and columnist has been — “Don’t pull your punches, tell the truth and duck.”
E.J. Graff: Foreign Policy “The Lie We Love, for exposing the corruption that underlies many international adoptions and highlighting international efforts to deter illegal practices. Graff probes and dissects her subject with a scholarly approach, but presents her findings with an engaging, journalistic sensibility.
Joseph Huff-Hannon, The Independent Facing Foreclosure: Brooklyn Retiree on Verge of Losing Home as Sub-prime Lenders Target Cash-Poor Black Seniors, for a local view of a national crisis.
Nick Turse:The Nation, “A My Lai a Month,” for revealing that the My Lai massacre of 1968 was just one among many during the Vietnam War, and for documenting government efforts to stall investigations and quell media coverage. An Aronson Award will also go to Kevin Buckley, whose original reporting on the issue in the 1970s as Newsweek’s Saigon bureau chief was largely buried, only to be resurrected 30 years later by Nick Turse.
Blog Award: Danny Schechter The Aronson Blog Award goes to veteran journalist, author, television producer and independent filmmaker Danny Schechter for his latest venture, the NewsDissector.org blog, with analyses and muckraking news reports on the economic, political and social crises of the day.This is his website NewsDissector.org.