Alexandra Robbins received the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism for 2014.
Robbins’ winning piece, “Children Are Dying,” was published May 22, 2013 in the Washingtonian magazine. She was awarded a $4,000 prize.
Robbins’ story brings to light a shortage in some Washington hospitals of nutrients premature babies and other patients need to survive. The hospitals were rationing, hoarding and bartering for the nutrients. Robbins interviewed doctors who told her these conditions were normally seen only in developing countries and how they had witnessed deaths of young children. A week after Robbins’ article was published, the FDA allowed importation of nutrients that had been in far too short supply.
“The best journalism gives a voice to the voiceless—in this case premature infants, their stressed out families, and the relatively powerless nurses charged with their care. Alexandra Robbins tells their story while also breaking down an extremely complex policy dilemma in a way that her readers can understand. Her skillful work delivered real-world results that may have been literally life-saving,” said Sara Austin (MSJ98), deputy editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, who helped judge the competition. Robbins is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and The Atlantic.