School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

School of Journalism and New Media scores top honors in RFK Journalism Awards

Posted on: April 29th, 2011 by


Prestigious award honorees range from Dan Rather and James Gandolfini to outstanding college and high school students

WASHINGTON – The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights is proud to announce the winners of the 43rd Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.

This year’s winning journalists, in eight professional and three student categories, covered a broad array of substantial topics, including the trials of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, the lives of Afghan women, the impact of war on soldiers, the coal industry in West Virginia, and rape at American universities.

Honorees range from legendary newsman Dan Rather and “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini to exceptional college and high school journalism students. National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, HBO, and the Center for Public Integrity are among the prize-winning media, with categories spanning domestic and international print, television, radio, photojournalism, and cartoons.

The awards were established by journalists who covered Robert Kennedy’s historic presidential campaign in 1968. They recognize journalists whose work has focused on human rights, social justice, and the power of individuals to make a difference – issues that defined the life and work of Robert F. Kennedy. Award recipients identify cases of injustice, and examine its causes, conditions, and remedies.

A panel of 60 judges, all prominent media professionals, selected the winning entries. A Grand Prize winner will be chosen from among the winners in each category by the RFK Journalism Committee, chaired by Margaret Engel, director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports investigative journalists and photojournalists worldwide.

“The winners this year reflect the interests of Robert Kennedy, particularly in justice and the plight of the downtrodden,” said Ms. Engel. “From the creative use of cartooning to illustrate solutions to poverty, to the persistence of a reporter continuing to cover America’s prisoners in Cuba, the journalists brought originality and passion to their work. From obvious places of misery, including Haiti and Afghanistan, to the still-sensitive issue of campus rapes and their unseen collateral damage, the winning journalists put their talents to use on behalf of people endangered by violence and destruction.”

The awards will be presented by Ethel Kennedy at a ceremony at The United States Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at 6:00 PM. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the ceremony. Winners receive a cash prize and a bust of Robert Kennedy created by sculptor Robert Berks. For more details on the event, please visit or contact Christina Taylor

During the ceremony, the bust will be also presented to the winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Europe High School Journalism Award, established by the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe. The award goes to an Italian high school that participates in the “Speak Truth To Power” human rights education program. Students were requested to submit an article or video on the issue of human rights, reflecting in particular Robert Kennedy’s quote: “The future is not a gift, it is an achievement.”

The winners of the 43rd Annual RFK Journalism Awards:

Domestic Print: “Guantanamo Bay,” by Carol Rosenberg, The Miami Herald

International Print: “Disaster in Haiti,” Joe Mozingo, Scott Kraft, and Tracy Wilkinson, The Los Angeles Times

International Television: “The Price of an Afghan Bride,” Dan Rather and Jenny Nordberg, Dan Rather Reports, HDNet

Domestic Television: “Wartorn,” by James Gandolfini, HBO

International Photography: “Haiti: A Year in the Shadow of Destruction,” by David Gilkey, NPR

Domestic Photography: “Dragline,” by Laura Antrim Caskey, Freelance

Cartoon: “The Path to Hope,” by Gary Varvel, The Indianapolis Star

Radio: “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes,” by Joseph Shapiro, Robert Benincasa, and Susan Reber, NPR; Kristen Lombardi, David Donald, Kristin Jones, and Gordon Witkin, Center for Public Integrity

College Print: “The Roads of Broken Dreams: Can a New Delta Arise from the Rot of the Old South?” by Student Reporting Team of University of Mississippi, Meek School of Journalism and New Media

High School Print: “Targeting Teens,” by Benjamin Brevner and Michael Weinstein with the Redwood Bark school paper from Redwood High School, California

High School Broadcast: “Farming Knowledge,” by Aaron Oshiro, Cody Kau, Michael Gooch, and Jenna Munoz, the Wai’anae High School, Hawaii