Journalists Hannah Dreier, Derek Kravitz, Alex Mierjeski, Claire Perlman, Al Shaw and Finlay Young have been named finalists for the 2019 Livingston Awards for their work on three ProPublica projects. The award honors outstanding achievement by journalists under the age of 35.
Dreier was named a finalist in the local reporting category for the series “Trapped in Gangland” — co-published with New York magazine, Newsday and The New York Times Magazine — which followed immigrants on Long Island whose lives were shattered by a botched crackdown on the MS-13 gang. After President Donald Trump took office and seized on MS-13’s violence on Long Island to promote tougher immigration policies, Dreier sought to examine the impact of both the gang and law enforcement on the region’s growing Latino community. She told the story through powerful narratives of an informant sold out by federal authorities, Latino MS-13 murder victims dismissed as runaways by police, and innocent teenagers deported.
Kravitz, Mierjeski, Perlman and Shaw were named finalists for national reporting for “Trump Town,” a series of articles and a searchable database of thousands of President Trump’s political appointees, along with their federal lobbying and financial records. For this project the team launched an enormous fact-finding mission that involved filing more than 200 Freedom of Information Act and open-records requests, collecting staffing lists and publishing financial disclosure reports.
Reporter Finlay Young was named a finalist in the international reporting category for “Unprotected,” jointly published with Time magazine. The story looked into an acclaimed charity called More Than Me led by American Katie Meyler, which wanted to save vulnerable Liberian girls from sexual exploitation. Then children in the charity’s care were raped. The story showed the rapes were more widespread than had ever been acknowledged, and that the charity had obscured the truth while failing to safeguard all the victims.
ProPublica contributing reporter Lizzie Presser was also named a finalist for national reporting her work on a secret network of women providing safe, affordable home abortions with California Sunday Magazine.
See a list of all this year’s Livingston Award finalists here.