New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named Sarah Stillman, a freelance journalist who was an embedded journalist in Iraq, the inaugural recipient of The Reporting Award.
The award supports a work of journalism in any medium on significant underreported subjects in the public interest. As The Reporting Award’s first recipient, Stillman will return to Iraq—and make her first trip to Afghanistan—to pursue an investigative reporting project to cover the lives of civilian workers on U.S. bases.
In establishing the award, the Carter Journalism Institute’s faculty cited the need for encouraging enterprise journalism during a time of extensive layoffs and budget cuts throughout the journalism industry. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism recently estimated that the newspaper industry has lost $1.6 billion in annual reporting and editing capacity since 2000—a reduction of roughly 30 percent.
“All of those resources may never return, so new funding models may be needed to keep up the tradition of vigorous investigative journalism,” said Stephen D. Solomon, associate director of the Institute. “Nonprofit sources may be one answer to that challenge.”
The award includes a stipend of $2,500 upon selection as the competition winner and an additional $10,000 upon timely completion and submission of the work, provided the Institute’s awards committee judges the work acceptable. The winner also has use of the Institute’s facilities, including an office, as well as NYU’s libraries and other scholarly resources. In addition, the program funds up to $6,000 in NYU journalism graduate student assistance. The Institute will publish the completed work either alone or in partnership with another media outlet.
In 2008, Stillman traveled to Iraq as a foreign correspondent for TruthDig, where she embedded with the 116th Military Police Company. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Nation, the New Republic, the Dallas Morning News, and other outlets. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, Stillman went on to pursue her doctorate as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford. Currently, Stillman is a fellow of Yale’s Morse College, where she co-teaches a course on the Iraq war with a U.S. Army captain.
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