14th Izzy Award Ceremony on April 26 Honoring Independent Journalists

by | Apr 22, 2022 | News

The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at Ithaca College has announced that this year’s Izzy Award “for outstanding achievement in independent media” will be shared by nonprofit newsrooms in New York and Chicago for exposing corruption that harmed low-income residents of those cities; independent journalist Jenni Monet for her weekly newsletter giving voice to Native American communities; and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, for its Pandora Papers exposé.

PCIM will host an online award ceremony on Tuesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. EDT, featuring speeches from the honorees followed by a Q&A session.

Register to attend the ceremony here.



An investigation by Greg B. Smith of THE CITY, a nonprofit newsroom based in New York, uncovered how 5,000 public housing apartments in buildings long ago deemed cleared of contamination contained lead paint.

Smith’s incisive reporting called out the continuing legacy of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)’s failure to ensure the wellbeing of its residents. The stories of two families, both consisting of mothers trying to protect their young children from their apartments’ cracking lead paint and sagging structure, illustrate the squalor that accompanied the company’s falsified lead disclosures. THE CITY’s reports pushed NYCHA to re-inspect one family’s home, and after ensuing scrutiny, NYCHA was given $25 million to address health and safety emergencies, including $7 million for health hazards from lead paint.

The judges commented: “Such big-city nonprofit newsrooms are crucial because corporate media too often overlook major stories affecting the urban poor.”


Better Government Association and Block Club Chicago

Two nonprofit newsrooms — Better Government Association and Block Club Chicago — undertook trailblazing reporting on corruption in the healthcare system and its damaging impacts on low-income people. Together, the two newsrooms published an explosive series on corruption at Loretto Hospital, a safety-net medical center serving mostly Black and Latino residents on Chicago’s West Side. BGA’s investigation, “Milking Medicaid,” exposed that when Illinois privatized its healthcare program for the poor, hundreds of millions of dollars in profits shifted to insurance companies and away from medical providers and Medicaid recipients.

These investigations led to an FBI probe of Loretto Hospital’s vaccination program and have revealed the malfeasant conflict of interest at the top of Illinois’ Medicaid program.

“The impact of their stories has been tremendous,” said the judges, “bringing down a greedy elite of politicians, businessmen, hospital administrators, board members, and doctors, while narrating the stories of patients’ and workers’ incredible courage to act to expose cruel malpractice and vaccine scandals at Loretto Hospital.”


Jenni Monet for Indigenously: Decolonizing Your Newsfeed

With Indigenously, Jenni Monet explores the beauty of conservation and community from her travels in Alaska, and reports on the history of violence and injustice against Native Americans. Monet has articulated the pain of disproportionate deaths and disappearances of Native women and girls and reminds that the momentary shock of headlines is “a lived experience every day.”

Monet’s free weekly newsletter fills in the gaps left by public education and media ecosystems that fail to educate and inform Americans about the past and present of Native American communities in the United States. The judges called Indigenously “a brave weekly newsletter, like Izzy Stone’s, on people and issues that mainstream journalists tend to ignore.”


International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Pandora Papers investigation amounts to the largest journalism partnership in history, drawing from the largest ever leak of confidential offshore financial documents. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) documented numerous stories that revealed the secretive system that allows the world’s rich to hide money and dodge taxes. ICIJ’s reporting has instigated calls among dozens of countries for tougher laws, public hearings, and government investigations. This latest reporting partnership of ICIJ exposed tax havens within the U.S., a nation that has criticized others for enabling money laundering.

The judges noted, “As the most extensive collaboration in the history of journalism, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists merits special Izzy recognition for undertaking — and succeeding in — a cooperative endeavor considered virtually impossible by conventional journalistic wisdom.”


The Izzy Award is named for I. F. “Izzy” Stone, the dissident journalist who launched I. F. Stone’s Weekly in 1953 and questioned McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, racial injustice, and government deceit. This year’s judges were Jeff Cohen, founding PCIM director and founder of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting); Linda Jue, editor-at-large for the investigate news site 100Reporters and contributing investigative editor for palabra., the innovative news site of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Robert W. McChesney, professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Raza Rumi, director of the Park Center for Independent Media; and Patricia Rodriguez, associate professor and chair of the Department of Politics at Ithaca College.

More from The Edge

The Racism of American Capital Punishment

The death penalty in America always incites controversy. Last year, Alabama took three hours to administer their lethal injection drugs. Idaho had to pause an execution for the lack of those drugs. And two people on death row were exonerated. The larger long-term...

Academic Austerity Survival Kit: 15 Ways to Make It Through

It’s bad, really bad, in higher education these days. Whether the pandemic is over or ongoing, its continuing impact has catapulted colleges and universities into a maelstrom of student disengagement, faculty quiet quitting, outright resignations, and draconian budget...

The Traumas of the Buffalo Winter Blizzard of 2022

I was 1 year old when the legendary blizzard of ’77 struck Buffalo, NY. This coincidence made me a “blizzard baby,” as my late mother Gail frequently recalled with a fond, nostalgic smile. She shared the Buffalo folklore tales of snowbanks towering to the height of...

Media Lingers on Biden Documents Story, ‘Both-Sidesing’ with Trump

Last week, the discovery of classified documents at Joe Biden’s former office and later his home sparked a flurry of news coverage, including comparisons to Donald Trump’s ongoing classified-records scandal. Critics called out false equivalency in mainstream media’s...

Investigation Points to FBI Conspiracy to Silence Martin Luther King Jr.

In the years following his death, documents related to Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder case were destroyed, and all files of FBI surveillance on King were sealed for 50 years. The suppression of information prompted human rights lawyer Dr. William Pepper and the King...

Ukrainian Journalists Reporting Amidst Bombs to Document War

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian military attack changed the destinies of millions of people. Journalists overnight became, in addition to their specialization, war correspondents and war victims, mostly unprepared for reporting amidst bombs. Some...

Struggles, Solutions, Solidarities: Julia Reichert (1946-2022)

Julia sat in the basement of the Student Union at the University of Iowa engulfed in a circle of women college students wearing flannel shirts, jeans, and work boots, drinking coffee to power them through a study night at the university library. It was 1976. I was a...

A Brief Political Travelogue of an American Abroad

Traveling outside of the country poses great privileges and special challenges for Americans, given the influence that the U.S. has over the global economic and political order.  It comes with responsibilities, which all Americans should take seriously but,...