JONATHAN COHN APRIL 20, 2011
The Sidney Hillman Foundation has just announced the winners of its annual awards for journalism that fosters "social justice and public policy for the common good." Among the very deserving winners is Slate’s Timothy Noah, for his exhaustive series on inequality.
Not only did "The Great Divergence" offer a deep, textured discussion of a critical policy issue. It deployed Slate’s multimedia capabilities, including detailed graphics and interactive features, to make its point (or points) in ways that words alone might not have. Months and even years from now, readers will read that series and learn from it--just as they can today.
At a time when the internet is wrecking so many great journalistic institutions, it’s refreshing, and encouraging, to see an example of the internet producing such great journalism. Tim and his colleagues at Slate deserve enormous credit.
Speaking of awards, on Tuesday the Pulitzer committee announced its winners. And I was thrilled to see David Leonhardt of the New York Times take home the prize for best commentary. David has a unique ability to break down complicated economic stories into accessible articles, without sacrificing nuance or depth. No less important, he knows how to make an argument with facts, rather than rhetoric. My profession and our political debates are much better for his presence within them.