Adele M. Stan Wins Hillman Prize for Excellence in Journalism

(Photo: J. Scales)

Adele M. Stan

Prospect columnist Adele M. Stan has won the 2017 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, an award that since 1950 has been dedicated to recognizing journalism in the service of social and economic justice.

As 2016’s divisive presidential election unfolded, Stan offered real-time, weekly analysis of the campaign and the confluence of forces that paved Trump’s road to the White House. Her two decades of experience reporting on and researching the American right wing gave her the insight and confidence to say what many political commentators, settled complacently behind incorrect prediction models, wouldn’t: that Donald J. Trump could win the presidency.

“You know what else does not add up?” Stan asked liberal readers clinging to hopeful electoral numbers in May 2016. “The denial of the ways in which the system can be gamed or hacked, a rack of new voting laws, and the possibility that pollsters are not able to account for all the people who actually intend to vote for Trump.” Throughout 2016, Stan turned an expert’s eyes to the ways in which the conservative movement—from its ideology to its leaders to its institutions—was, in fact, primed to hand America a Trump presidency. She explained the modern Calvinist veneration of riches underpinning the evangelical movement (and Trump’s messianic campaign), and outlined the historical precedent for Trump’s courting of white resentment and bigoted nationalism that would “unleash the beast of contempt.” She pointed to Mike Pence as a likely running mate thanks to his religious-right bona fides, and sounded the alarm about the Koch brothers’ vast network’s behind-the-scenes support of the Trump campaign.

Through analysis that pushes against conventional wisdom, Stan has remained a tireless progressive voice on issues of race and gender, and has continued to lend her expertise to examining the workings of the Trump administration, drawing attention to the private capital that pads the pockets of the administration’s billionaires and contributes to a White House culture of opacity.

“This year’s Hillman Prize winners investigated powerful people and institutions and exposed hypocrisy, discrimination, and exploitation,” said Bruce Raynor, the president of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, in a statement. “At this moment in our history, the role of courageous journalists … [is] more important than ever to our democracy.”

Other 2017 Hillman award recipients include Evicted author Matthew Desmond (book journalism); David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post (newspaper); WXIA in Atlanta’s Brendan Keefe (broadcast); Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine (magazine); and Jamie Kalven of The Intercept (web). The Hillman Foundation will present the awards in New York City on May 9.

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