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WBUR announced today that Hannah Dreier is the winner of the 2019 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. The winning segment was produced at This American Life in partnership with ProPublica, where Dreier serves as an immigration reporter.
Dreier’s winning entry, “The Runaways,” is an hour-long investigative report that documents how the Suffolk County Police Department in New York failed to investigate a series of gang murders when the victims were immigrant teenagers. Days after the story aired on This American Life, the Suffolk County legislature forced the police department to conduct an internal investigation into how it had handled the MS-13 murder cases. “The Runaways” proves that investigative reporting continues to effect change.
“I am impressed with how many talented young journalists there are in public radio and what ambitious stories they have told,” said Robert Siegel, retired host of NPR’s All Things Considered, who served as the prize’s finalist judge. “Hannah Dreier’s ‘The Runaways’ is solid reporting of the most important kind, reporting that holds public officials to account for their incompetence, indifference and hollow self-serving claims of victory.”
Dreier’s work just received a 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. Prior to serving as an immigration reporter at ProPublica, Dreier served as the Associated Press’ Venezuela correspondent for three years. She moved to Caracas amid a bloody nationwide protest movement and told the story of the country’s unraveling from hospitals, ports and food lines. Her Venezuela reporting won the Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award, a Gerald Loeb Award, and the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. Her 2016 “Venezuela Undone” series was recognized by the Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Dreier joined the AP in 2012 as a politics reporter in the Sacramento bureau and later covered the business of gambling from Las Vegas. Earlier, she was a metro reporter for the Bay Area News Group, which includes The Mercury News and East Bay Times. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is fluent in Spanish.
In addition to Siegel, the Schorr Prize judging panel included preliminary judges Christine Chinlund, former Managing Editor for News, The Boston Globe; Katie Colaneri, Assistant News Director, WHYY; Terry Gildea, Executive Director, PRNDI; Sarah Ashworth, Director of News, Vermont Public Radio; Susanna Capelouto, Senior Editor, WABE; Erica Peterson, Director of News and Programming, WFPL.
Dreier will be presented with the prize at the WBUR Gala taking place April 22 at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts. An annual benefit for the public radio station, the gala supports independent news and programming.
The Schorr Prize is named for the late NPR senior news analyst and veteran Washington journalist Daniel Schorr who died in 2010. Schorr was a believer in supporting talented young journalists as they rose through the ranks of public radio. The annual $5,000 Prize — sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner — salutes a new generation of public radio journalists under the age of 35, seeking to inspire them to stretch the boundaries of the medium.
Past Schorr Prize winners include former WLRN reporter Wilson Sayre (2017); former WNYC reporter and now a reporter for NPR’s Planet Money Sarah Gonzalez (2016); WAMU reporter Patrick Madden (2015); WFPL reporter Devin Katayama, now a reporter for KQED, San Francisco (2014); WBEZ producer Becky Vevea (2013); KUNC reporter Grace Hood (2012); NPR host David Greene (2011); NPR reporter Ailsa Chang (2010); reporter Chana Joffe-Walt, who covers global economics for NPR’s multimedia project “Planet Money” (2009); former NPR defense correspondent Guy Raz, now the host of the “TED Radio Hour” (2008); and NPR investigative correspondent Laura Sullivan (2007).
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