Sidney prize is an annual award given by the Sidney Hillman Foundation to journalists for work that illuminates important issues in American life. The awards are based on the belief that a free and open press is essential to a just society, particularly one that serves working people.
The Foundation aims to carry on the legacy of Sidney Hillman, an immigrant who dedicated his life to a “better America.” It honors the work of journalists who illuminate the great issues of our times–from the search for a basis for lasting peace to the need for better housing, medical care and employment for all people to the promotion of civil liberties and democracy and the battle against discrimination of all kinds.
Since its inception in 2009, the Sidney award has been presented to American journalists who have produced investigative journalism in service of the common good. It is awarded for work published in an American magazine, newspaper, on a news site or blog, or a broadcast by an American television or radio new outlet.
In addition to the annual awards, The Sidney Hillman Foundation also presents a series of supplementary prizes and fellowships in recognition of journalistic excellence. In recent years, this has included a fellowship in the field of social justice journalism for a senior reporter at The Nation and an award for the best article by a journalist on a topic of social concern.
Other supplementary prizes include an honorable mention for the best article published by a senior writer at The Nation and an award for a series of articles that advance a social justice topic. In the past, these supplementary prizes have been awarded for pieces on topics ranging from racial profiling to the role of technology in criminal justice.
The foundation also offers an honorary lifetime membership for a journalist whose career has been devoted to social justice journalism. It provides the recipient with an opportunity to meet and network with fellow journalists and other leaders of social justice journalism from around the country.
Another supplementary award is the SS Sidney Prize, which recognizes the best long-form essay in the realm of politics and culture. This year, it was awarded to the New York Times columnist David Brooks for his article “The Coddling of the American Mind,” which focuses on student hypersensitivity and its relationship to microaggressions.
Similarly, the SS Sidney Prize for the arts was awarded to Australian filmmaker Luke Cornish for his documentary film “Keep Stepping.” The award recognized his commitment to storytelling and his use of non-professional actors in his work.
This award was established by a generous donor to the University of Sydney in memory of his parents, who were both Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. It consists of a cash prize of $10,000 and a plaque.
This prize is also sponsored by the City of Sydney. The City supports the prize and has committed to a substantial financial contribution in support of its goals, along with other in-kind contributions. The Sydney Peace Prize Gala Dinner is hosted by the Sydney Peace Foundation and the University of Sydney on Friday, 18 November. The event will bring together 800 people from business, community and civil society. It will also highlight the work of the Foundation in supporting the rebirth of a First Nations Voice to Parliament.