A team of Times-Picayune reporters was awarded the June "Sidney" award, a monthly journalism prize given out by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, for the newspaper's recent eight-part special report on Louisiana's highest-in-the-world incarceration rate.
The series, "Louisiana Incarcerated," was reported by Cindy Chang, Jan Moller, Jonathan Tilove and John Simerman. It spotlighted how rigid sentencing laws and a strict pardon and parole system conspire to keep the jails full.
Not mentioned in the NOLA.com story: the contributions of photographer Scott Threlkeld, graphics artist Ryan Smith, copy editor Katherine Hart, designer George Berke and managing editors Dan Shea and Peter Kovacs, all of whom were fired from the paper yesterday by the newly formed NOLA Media Group.
Tilove was also fired. Special sections reporter Chang, whose byline appeared over most of the stories, has been offered a job in the general reporting pool.
The award, which recognizes "investigative work that fosters social and economic justice," comes with a $500 shared prize and a bottle of union-made wine for each winner.
The wine must be coming in handy today.