Carter Journalism Institute’s 2017 Reporting Award Winners to Focus on Civil War, Local Law Enforcement, and Public Education


The Carter Journalism Institute has named three recipients of its 2017 Reporting Award.

May Jeong
New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named three recipients of its 2017 Reporting Award: May Jeong, above, a magazine writer who has covered the war in Afghanistan; Ashley Powers, a freelance magazine journalist who has written about anti-government extremists; and Doug Bock Clark, a freelance writer who has investigated the illicit social media influence industry. Image courtesy of Andrew Quilty

New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named three recipients of its 2017 Reporting Award: May Jeong, a magazine writer who has covered the war in Afghanistan; Ashley Powers, a freelance magazine journalist who has written about anti-government extremists; and Doug Bock Clark, a freelance writer who has investigated the illicit social media influence industry.  

The award, established in 2009, supports a work of journalism in any medium on significant underreported subjects in the public interest.

Stephen D. Solomon, associate director of the Institute, notes that today’s news climate, coupled with extensive budget and personnel cuts throughout the journalism industry, only amplify the need to back enterprise journalism.

“This year’s Reporting Award recipients have a distinguished track record of the type of journalism that is both vital and endangered,” observes Solomon. “All three will take an in-depth examination of matters too often overlooked in the daily news cycle.”

May Jeong
May Jeong is an award-winning magazine writer and investigative journalist based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Intercept, and Harper’s, among others, and her long-form pieces have been translated into several languages. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the One World Media New Voice Award and in 2016 for the Kurt Schork Award for her reporting on Afghanistan. May was a finalist for the Canadian National Magazine Award in the Best New Magazine Writer category for her 2012 Toronto Life investigation, which exposed a gang rape scandal in an immigrant community in Toronto.

Her work has also been supported by the United Nations Foundation, the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Award, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. 

Jeong, who will receive a stipend of $9,000, will spend her time as a winner of the award reporting on how Sri Lanka is contending with the country’s legacy of civil war. 

Ashley Powers
Ashley Powers is a freelance magazine journalist who lives in Washington, D.C. She often writes about people who, by choice or by chance, have ended up on the outskirts of society. As a contributing writer for the California Sunday Magazine, she’s written long-form features about anti-government extremists in Las Vegas, a community run by followers of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, and a 36-day manhunt for a mentally unstable loner in California redwood country.

Ashley Powers

Ashley Powers

Doug Bock Clark

Doug Bock Clark

Previously, she was a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times based in Las Vegas, where she covered politics and breaking news, including mass shootings in Tucson, Arizona, and Aurora, Colorado. In Los Angeles, she was part of a team that dug through thousands of documents to show how the nation's largest archdiocese mishandled priests accused of abusing children. Her work has won the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, the National Headliner Award, and honors from the Society for Features Journalism, the Religion Newswriters Association, and the Los Angeles Press Club.

Powers, who will receive a $5,000 stipend, will spend her time reporting on how, in some culturally conservative pockets of the country, a little-noticed, right-wing ideology has permeated local law enforcement.

Doug Bock Clark
Doug Bock Clark is a freelance writer who lives in North Carolina. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New RepublicForeign PolicyMother Jones, the Huffington Post, and other publications. His New Republic story “The Bot Bubble,” about hackers using millions of counterfeit Facebook accounts to run an illicit social media influence industry, was a finalist for the 2016 Mirror Award and caused Facebook to change its security algorithms. His first book, Against the Leviathan: Life and Death with the World’s Last Subsistence Whalers, centers on the world’s last hunter-gatherer whaling tribe, which pursues sperm whales with bamboo harpoons and wooden boats powered by palm leaf sails. It will be published in June 2018 by Little, Brown, and Company.

Clark has been awarded a 2017 11th Hour Food and Farming Fellowship and a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. His work has also been supported by two Fulbright Fellowships and a Glimpse Fellowship—a travel writing grant partly sponsored by National Geographic. 

Clark, under a $5,000 stipend, will use the Reporting Award to investigate the underrepresentation of minority students in advanced classes in American public education and the hidden forces driving this inequality.

Sarah Stillman, the inaugural recipient of the Reporting Award, traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to report on the abuse of third-world service workers on U.S. military bases there. Her piece, “The Invisible Army,” which appeared in the June 6, 2011, issue of the New Yorker, won several of journalism’s top prizes in 2012: the National Magazine Award in the category of “Public Interest”; the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism; the Overseas Press Club’s Joe and Laurie Dine Award for International Human Rights Reporting; and the Michael Kelly Award for the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth.” 

For more on the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, click here; for more on the Reporting Award, click here

Applications for next year’s award will be accepted in January 2018.

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James Devitt
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