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Medill to welcome 2016 James Foley Medill Medal for Courage Recipient on Sept. 22

Hannah Dreier, the 2016 James Foley Medill Medal for Courage awardee

Correspondent Hannah Dreier, who was awarded the 2016 James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism in May for her reporting in Venezuela, will speak to the Northwestern community and receive her medal on Friday, September 22 at 11 a.m. The event will be held in the McCormick Foundation Center Forum at 1870 Campus Drive in Evanston and is open to the public.  An informal reception will follow her talk in the Forum lobby. 

Dreier was the unanimous choice by the judges to receive the award for her ongoing Associated Press series, “Venezuela Undone.”

“I was absolutely astonished by Dreier’s vivid descriptions of how harrowing the situation is in Venezuela and her tenacity in reporting what’s really going on,” said co-judge and Medill Board of Advisers member Dick Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53).

Dreier, now with ProPublica, was AP's sole English-language correspondent in Venezuela and spent months in Caracas chronicling how health carefood scarcity and education intersect to present frightening challenges for the people of Venezuela.

“I think people will be reading her dispatches in order to understand this huge event for years,” said Medill co-judge and Chicago Tribune investigative reporter David Jackson. “This is really enduring work, extremely enterprising. In that very dangerous environment, she is sticking her nose everywhere and confronting authorities and going into places where reporters haven't been.”

“The story just comes through because there's nothing in the writing that is distracting you, and it's excellent writing,” said Medill professor and co-judge Donna Leff (BSJ70, MSJ71). “She's about the story, she's about the reporting, and she's about the facts.”

About the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism

The 2016 medal is given for work published during the 2016 calendar year to an individual or team of journalists, working for a U.S.-based media outlet, who best displayed moral, physical, ethical, financial or political courage in the pursuit of a story or series of stories. 

The selection committee included Medill Board of Advisers member Richard Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53), former senior editorial adviser for Time Inc.; Chicago Tribune reporter and 2011 James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism recipient David Jackson; and Medill Professor Donna Leff (BSJ70, MSJ71), who has been a member of the faculty and an associate of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research since 1980.

Stories must be published within a calendar year to be eligible, and the winner receives a $5,000 prize. Submissions for the 2017 calendar year are being accepted now through February 2018.

The 2015 award was given to Glenn Cook, James DeHaven, Eric Hartley, Jennifer Robison, John L. Smith, Howard Stutz and James G. Wright, reporters for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, for their coverage of the newspaper’s sale to the family of billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson.

More about the 2016 Recipient

Hannah Dreier was the Venezuela correspondent for The Associated Press and is now a reporter for ProPublica. Dreier previously covered California state government and the business of gambling for AP. Her stories have been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, ASNE and Livingston Awards. She graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and spent the first years of her career at The San Jose Mercury News.