2016 Impact Awards Recipients"This year, what stood out for us was the sheer number of edgy, sustained, and deeply relevant pieces of investigative journalism included in the award submissions. To be perfectly honest, we were a little bit on edge ourselves in settling on our final choices, and so we offer these awards with appreciation not only for the quality of those who did make the cut, but also with more than a nod to the accomplishments of everyone who put their work forward."
-- Zakia Henderson Brown, The New PressTexas Observer: Death on Sevenmile Road, by Melissa del Bosque "Melissa del Bosque's almost unbelievably intrepid and dogged reporting stood out for our judges in this case. Here is a prime example, we remarked, on how the time and effort put into gathering human stories, connecting dots, forcing authorities to cough up documents, and really good writing can take what would have been a hidden crime and tragedy and blow it up into a genuine news story." Mother Jones: The True Cost of Gun Violence in America, by Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee, and James West "Our judges were impressed in this case not only by the number of impact measures tallied by the submission -- clearly a major accomplishment -- but also agreed with MoJo's larger claim about how this piece has helped shift the debate away from Second Amendment issues and toward the public health consequences of gun violence and the costs society incurs as a result. Both the argument itself, and its effective packaging (graphics, interactives, video, etc) helped to create a vector of influence that very clearly achieved an impact in the media, and in key and influential policy circles." High Country News: When Our River Turned Orange, by Jonathan Thompson "Jonathan Thompson's reporting on the pollution of the Animas river was a riveting piece of journalism in its own right. But what stood out for the judges was the role that Jonathan himself played after the piece was published -- whether fact checking other testimony and media coverage, providing expert, fact-based opinions about the causes of the spill, and educating the broader public about what could be done. This seemed to all of us a really stunning example of the role that journalists should play in their communities (if only they had the commitment and depth of knowledge of the reporters at HCN)." Earth Island Journal: Teflon’s Toxic Legacy, by Sharon Kelly "As editors of long-form narratives, we were all struck by the power of the historical arc included in this stunning account of DuPont's deception in manufacturing this dangerous product, and many of us found ourselves discussing this story in disbelief in the days and weeks after reading it. For us, this is an example of a news story with legs: one that raises critical questions about industry and regulation, makes a sharp impact in its own space, and that will continue to ripple out into the broader media over time." The American Prospect: Cecile Richards: Grace Under Fire at Planned Parenthood, by Rachel M. Cohen "We were all delighted to learn about Cecile Richards’ noteworthy professional background in organizing and advocacy, and how she’s used that sensibility to grow, fortify, and sustain Planned parenthood. More, this expertly researched profile uncovered Richards’ role in critical coalition building among progressive organizations over the last two decades. We valued the way this piece moved beyond topical coverage of Planned Parenthood to highlight how Richards turned one of the most important healthcare organizations for women and families into a political juggernaut."