Original text by Herald-Tribune staff.
The Herald-Tribune’s “One War. Two Races.” series was a finalist for the 2018 Hillman Prize, which recognizes journalists “who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.”
The project by investigative reporter Josh Salman, investigations editor Michael Braga and web developer Dak Le showed how laws dating back to the crack epidemic continue to prejudice black defendants, even as the drug crisis shifts out of minority neighborhoods. The project also revealed how blacks have been left behind as the conversation turns to treatment.
“One War. Two Races.” also recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Sigma Delta Chi Award in investigative reporting.
The 2018 Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism — awarded by The Sidney Hillman Foundation, named for a noted American labor leader — went to USA Today Network for its series “Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing,” which exposed the abusive and illegal working conditions suffered by 100,000 port truck drivers in Los Angles, where nearly half of all imports enter this country.
“One War” along with the Herald-Tribune’s “Bias on the Bench” project in 2016 sparked legislation requiring sweeping, new courthouse data collection. Supporters say the new law will home in on rampant racial disparities in sentencing exposed by the Herald-Tribune’s reporting. The measure will create a uniform databank containing information on arrest and bail proceedings and criminal sentencing, and will be searchable by the public through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.
“Bias on the bench” found that judges throughout Florida sentence black defendants to harsher punishments than whites charged with the same crimes under similar circumstances.
Other Hillman winners this year were Richard Rothstein for his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” New York Times Magazine, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post, Univision News/El Faro and Slate.
Judges for the Hillman Prize included Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic; Jelani Cobb, a contributing writer for The New Yorker and an instructor at Columbia University; Alix Freedman, global editor, ethics and standards for Reuters; Hendrik Hertzberg, an editor and staff writer at The New Yorker; Harold Meyerson, executive editor of The American Prospect; and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.
Read the original report here.