John Bartlow Martin Award

John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism

John Bartlow Martin advanced the tenets of public interest journalism. His magazine stories about labor racketeering, poor working conditions, racism, crime and abuse of mental patients were marked by careful reporting, incisive writing and a palpable concern for victims. In many cases, these stories, published in major magazines such as Harper’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Collier's and The Atlantic, prompted public policy changes and inspired other journalists to make a difference with their own reporting. In his 10 years at Medill, Martin helped students become skilled reporters and writers. Medill established the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism in 1988 to encourage outstanding professional work in this crucial area. 

A cash prize of $4,000 is awarded annually for the entry deemed most outstanding by the panel of judges. The winning author or team will be honored at a ceremony in Chicago, May 18, 2017.

Rules of Entry
Single stories or series work should shed light on the causes, consequences and remedies of problems in American society. The work should analyze and critique the policies, relationships and events behind these problems and solutions. Originality, excellence of writing and the impact of the article(s) also will be considered.

Submissions must have been published during the calendar year 2016. Medill welcomes articles published in print or digital consumer magazines. Newsletters are excluded, but circulation size is not a criterion of the award. Entries may be submitted by either authors or publications. The award will go to the author(s). If submitting series work, please enter a maximum of three parts.

Entries are closed for this contest, and will reopen in November 2017.

The administrator of this award reserves the right to authenticate, accept or disallow entries.

Questions may be directed Beth Moellers

Founding Sponsors:

Alice Arlen
Harry Ashmore
Marshall B. Front
John Kenneth Galbraith
Frank B. Gibney
Milton S. Gwirtzman
Irving B. Harris
Marshall M. Holleb
Michael Janeway
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
John A. Kouwenhoven
Eric Larrabee
Russell Lynes
Newton S. Minow
Bernard Nath
Dorothy Olding
Pierre Salinger
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
Bernarda Shahn
John L. Steele
Rolf Stetter
Sam Vaughn
Willard Wirtz
Rep. Sidney Yates (D.-Ill.)


Winner: Shane Bauer’s, Mother Jones magazine, for “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard”
Honorable Mention: Christie Thompson and Joseph Shapiro, The Marshall Project and NPR
Honorable Mention: Ari Berman, The Nation magazine

Winners: Ken Armstrong, The Marshall Project, and T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, for a collaboration of “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”
Honorable Mention: Joaquin Sapien, California Sunday Magazine and ProPublica
Honorable Mention: Meaghan Winter, Cosmopolitan Magazine

Winners: David Bernstein and Noah Isackson, Chicago magazine
Honorable Mention: Jacob Jones, Deanna Pan, Daniel Walters, Heidi Groover,  Pacific Northwest Inlander
Honorable Mention: Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica/The Atlantic

Alexandra Robbins, The Washingtonian

1st: Peter Landesman, LA Weekly
2nd: Joshua Kors, The Nation
3rd: Jesse Katz, Los Angeles Magazine 

1st: Julia Whitty, Dick Russell, Marla Cone, Michael W. Robbins, Jonathan Stein, H. Bruce Franklin and Daniel Duane, Mother Jones
2nd: Charles Bowden, Mother Jones
3rd: Brian Alexander, Glamour 

1st: Mimi Swartz, Texas Monthly
2nd: Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker
3rd: Alan Prendergast, Westword 

1st: Dan Baum, The New Yorker
2nd: Katherine Boo, The New Yorker
3rd: Maximillian Potter, 5280 

1st: Wil S. Hylton, Harper's
2nd: Julie Jargon, Westword
3rd: Katherine Boo, The New Yorker 

1st: Staff, Miami New Times
2nd: John Cook, Chicago Magazine
3rd: Michael Hall, Texas Monthly 

1st: Lisa Davis and John Mecklin, SF Weekly
2nd: Katherine Boo, The New Yorker
3rd: Amy Silverman, Phoenix New Times 

1st: Jonathan Alter & Mark Miller, Newsweek
2nd: Ann-Marie Cusac, The Progressive
3rd: Bob Burtman, Houston Press 

1st: Dana Hawkins, U.S. News & World Report
2nd: Alex Kotlowitz, The New Yorker
3rd: Laurie Garrett, Esquire 

1st: Don Barlett and James Steele, Time
2nd: Jonathan Schell, The Nation
3rd: David Pasztor, San Francisco Weekly

1st: Bob Burtman, Houston Press
2nd: James Stewart, The New Yorker
3rd: Dale Mezzacappa, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine 

1st: William Finnegan, The New Yorker
2nd: Paul Rubin, Phoenix New Times
3rd: Erik Larson, Time 

1st: Jimmie Briggs and Kenneth Miller, Life magazine
2nd: Adrian Le Blanc, Esquire
3rd: Jerry Adler and Team, Newsweek 

1st: William Finnegan, The New Yorker
2nd: Paul Keegan, Philadelphia magazine
3rd: (tie) Mary A. Fischer, GQ; Series Writers, U.S. News & World Report 

1st: Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker
2nd: Michael McLeod, Orlando Sentinel Magazine
3rd: Lisa Belkin, The New York Times Sunday Magazine 

1st: Barry Yeoman, The Independent
2nd: Series Writers, National Law Journal
3rd: Jeff Goldberg, Life magazine

1st: Walt Harrington, Washington Post Magazine
2nd: Le Anne Schreiber, Glamour
3rd: Shira Maguen, The Advocate 

1st: Debbie Nathan, Village Voice
2nd: John Conroy, Chicago Reader
3rd: Trudy Lieberman, Consumer Reports 

1st: Rob Warden, Chicago Times
2nd: Walter Updegrave, Money
3rd: Fen Montaigne, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine 

1st: Robert Alvarez and Arjun Makhijani, Technology Review
2nd: Peter Hamill, Esquire
3rd: Series Writers, Business Week