Sept. 18, 2008
A staff writer for The New Yorker and a science reporter from The New York Times have won the 2008 John Chancellor Awards for Excellence in Journalism, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism announced today. Jane Mayer won the award for the depth and detail of her reporting on the Bush Administration's war on terror, and Andrew C. Revkin won for his decades-long coverage of the science and politics of climate change.
The John Chancellor Award is given annually to reporters for distinguished cumulative accomplishments. The prize honors the legacy of pioneering television correspondent and longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor. A nine-member committee selected Mayer and Revkin to receive the award, which bestows a $25,000 prize for each winner. The awards will be presented at a dinner at Columbia University's Low Library in New York on Nov. 19.
"With their consistently resourceful and original reporting, Mayer and Revkin have been out in front of the most important stories of our time: civil liberties and global warming. They set the gold standard for journalists, and we have benefited tremendously from their dedication and hard work," said Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia's Journalism School and a member of the award's selection committee.
About the 2008 Chancellor Awardees
Jane Mayer has written a definitive account of the inner workings of the U.S. war on terror and the ill-fated decision to strengthen the presidency at the expense of civil liberties after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In a series of groundbreaking articles in The New Yorker, Mayer chronicled the administration's use of extraordinary rendition and the C.I.A.'s secret "black site" detention program. She also uncovered the paper trail that established the "New Paradigm"—legal decisions made by the White House that ignored the Geneva Conventions and sanctioned abusive treatment for terrorism suspects. Mayer also profiled brave individuals who risked their careers by questioning the government's actions. Based in Washington, D.C., she specializes in political and investigative reporting and is the author of the new best-selling book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.
"Jane Mayer, a superb and experienced investigative reporter, has led the way in uncovering a secret world of abuse in a benighted period when the White House has expressed an overt disdain for certain basic human rights and endorsed torture as right and proper," said New Yorker editor David Remnick. "Her work for The New Yorker and her latest book, The Dark Side, reflect journalism at its very best and deepest—work done with intellectual rigor and moral direction."
Andrew C. Revkin began reporting on the human impact on the environment more than 20 years ago. Today his authoritative work on climate change and global sustainability sets the standard for environmental reporters everywhere. Throughout his career, Revkin has focused on the challenge of providing energy to the growing human population and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the atmosphere. At The New York Times, he exclusively exposed efforts by political appointees to alter official climate reports in the White House and their attempts to silence NASA scientists' views about global warming. Revkin uses multiple platforms to report about the climate and development: his popular Times blog Dot Earth, podcasts and photographs and video from around the world, including images of sea ice around the North Pole. Revkin's most recent book, The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World, informs readers of all ages about the impact of climate change on the Arctic.
Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, said that Revkin has "the skills of an old-fashioned beat reporter: mastering the data, cultivating the sources, going to the story, asking the right questions, applying rigorous analysis. Those skills have made him indispensable on crises like the anthrax attacks, the blackout and the Columbia shuttle disaster, and they have made him the most trusted journalist on the slower-moving but no less urgent story of climate change."
The John Chancellor Award was established in 1995 by Ira A. Lipman, founder and chair of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security service firms. In addition to Lipman and Dean Lemann, the selection panel includes journalists Tom Brokaw, Ellis Cose, John L. Dotson Jr., Hank Klibanoff, Michele Norris and Lynn Sherr, as well as John Chancellor's daughter Mary Chancellor.
To learn more about the John Chancellor Awards and this year's awardees, Jane Mayer and Andrew C. Revkin, visit www.journalism.columbia.edu/chancellor.
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