2014 Shadid Award recipients announced

March 18, 2014

The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will honor reporters Adam Goldman, Matt Apuzzo, editor Ted Bridis and the Associated Press with the 2014 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.

Adam Goldman

Adam Goldman

AP staff will be on hand to accept the award on Friday, May 2 at the center's annual conference.

Goldman reported on the disappearance in Iran of Robert Levinson, an American businessman, whom Goldman demonstrated was employed by the CIA even as the agency denied it to the White House, the FBI and Congress.

Jack Mitchell, chair of the Shadid award selection committee, says the committee chose the entry for the ethics award because of the AP's responsibility in holding this "hot" story for three years until it was confident the story's release would not cause harm to Levinson or to national security.

"Our committee was blown away by the quality of the entries in the 2014 competition. They would restore the faith of the most hardened cynic in the high purposes of journalism," says Mitchell, professor emeritus at the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

A graduate of the UW-Madison, Shadid died in 2012 while crossing the Syrian border on a reporting assignment for the New York Times. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and insightful foreign correspondence. Shadid sat on the ethics center's advisory board and strongly supported its efforts to promote public interest journalism and to stimulate discussion about journalism ethics.

The award, which now carries a $1,000 prize, honors a journalist, or team of journalists, whose reporting on a specific story or series best exemplifies four key criteria: accountability, independence, and commitment to finding truth and to minimizing harm. In its first five years of awards, the ethics center limited nominations to journalists in Wisconsin, but this year expanded the scope nationwide.

“I'm confident that Anthony would be proud to have his name associated with the quality and courage reflected in the entries we received.”

Robert Drechsel

The entry from Goldman, Apuzzo, Bridis and the Associated Press was chosen from five finalists. The four other finalists were:

  • Pro Publica and reporter Michael Grabell for reporting on the plight of temporary workers in American companies
  • Stephanie Mencimer for her story in the Washington Monthly verifying the truthfulness of Kellogg, Brown & Root, the defense contractor, when it denied that employees in Iraq had gang-raped a female employee
  • Minnesota Public Radio for documenting child abuse by priests in the St. Paul diocese, which had held itself up as a model for other dioceses to follow
  • USA Today for its examination of "mass killings" in the United States

"I'm confident that Anthony would be proud to have his name associated with the quality and courage reflected in the entries we received," says Robert Drechsel, James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics and the center's director. "He set the bar high for excellence in reporting, and clearly our contest entrants have too."

The May 2 conference, titled "Surveillance, Security and Journalism Ethics," will address the issues facing 21st century journalism in a world of Wikileaks, NSA sweeps, corporate cooperation, drones and data mining. Free registration is now open.