The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced this week that ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson is the winner of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism in the category of Individual Achievement by a National Journalist. Thompson was recognized for “Documenting Hate,” a two-part documentary made in partnership with Frontline.
The documentary outed some of the most violent figures within America’s resurgent white supremacist movement, as well as the movement’s links to the U.S. military and governmental failures to curb the criminal activities of dangerous white power groups. The investigation identified former and active-duty members of the military as members of Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group.
Within weeks of the report, the Marine Corps announced that it had opened a criminal investigation into the activities of Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis, whom the documentary identified as an Atomwaffen member who took part in the Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstration in August 2017. Pistolis was later convicted at a court-martial on charges of disobeying orders and making false statements, and he was dismissed from the Marines.
ProPublica and Frontline also reported on the Rise Above Movement, a white power gang. As a result, Michael Miselis, an aerospace engineer with a government security clearance identified as a member of RAM, was out of his job at defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Federal authorities eventually arrested Miselis and seven other members or associates of RAM on rioting charges, citing the reporting of ProPublica and Frontline.
Thompson’s work shows a commitment to “chasing down the story and getting answers,” judges said. “His deep-dive persistence is not something you usually see on national television.”
See a full list of Cronkite Award winners here.