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Reporters Committee announces 2024 Freedom of the Press Award honorees

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Reporters Committee to present awards to leaders in the news media and legal fields on Oct. 16
Dark purple image with a microphone icon that says "Freedom of the Press Awards 2024." The graphic has the date and location of the awards: Wednesday, October 16 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The image has the Reporters Committee's logo in the bottom left corner.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today announced the recipients of this year’s Freedom of the Press Awards, which recognize the accomplishments of leaders in the news media and legal fields whose work embodies the values of the First Amendment.

The 2024 honorees are:

  • Stephen Paul Engelberg, Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica
  • Maria Hinojosa, Founder and President, Futuro Media
  • Josie Huang, Reporter, LAist
  • Mazin Sidahmed, Co-Founder, Documented
  • Sisi Wei, Editor-in-Chief, The Markup

The Reporters Committee will also present a new award this year to the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in recognition of outstanding pro bono support for journalists and newsrooms provided through ProJourn

“This year’s honorees embody the tenacity, commitment, and courage that underpin a free press,” said Stephen J. Adler, chair of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Across journalism and the law, their work shows us the true power of the First Amendment to make informed democracy a reality.”

The 2024 Freedom of the Press Awards will be held on Oct. 16 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The event is co-chaired by Horacio Gutierrez, senior executive vice president and chief legal and compliance officer of The Walt Disney Company, and Almar Latour, publisher of The Wall Street Journal and CEO of Dow Jones.

“The extraordinary achievements of this year’s Freedom of the Press Award winners have strengthened our collective knowledge, our communities, and our democracy,” said Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “They are unflinching in examining today’s most pressing issues and in standing up for press freedom to ensure people have access to the information they need.”

Covington & Burling LLP will be recognized with the inaugural Freedom of the Press Pro Bono Service Award, which honors those who have dedicated significant time and support to journalists and newsrooms through ProJourn, a program operated by the Reporters Committee with support from Microsoft, Davis Wright Tremaine, and the Knight Foundation that brings together teams of law firm media attorneys and corporate in-house counsel to meet the growing needs of local journalists. Working with ProJourn, Covington has provided crucial pro bono legal support on both editorial and business matters as a part of the firm’s Kurt Wimmer Media Freedom Pro Bono Initiative, launched as a tribute to Covington’s late partner Kurt Wimmer, an international leader in media law and 2010 recipient of the Reporters Committee’s First Amendment Award (now the Freedom of the Press Award). Through the Wimmer Initiative, Covington undertakes a broad range of pro bono matters aimed at protecting and advancing media freedom, and assisting nonprofit newsrooms.

Engelberg and Hinojosa will each be recognized with the Freedom of the Press Career Achievement Award, which honors an individual with a long history of upholding the value of freedom of the press throughout their career.

Stephen Paul Engelberg

Engelberg is the editor-in-chief of ProPublica, a role he has held since 2013 after first serving as the founding managing editor of the nonprofit newsroom, which has won seven Pulitzer Prizes. 

Before joining ProPublica, he was managing editor of The Oregonian, during which time the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news and was a finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and charities intended to help the disabled. Prior to The Oregonian, he worked for The New York Times for 18 years, where he served as the first investigative editor, supervising reporting projects that included two Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations into Mexican corruption and the rise of Al Qaeda. He is the co-author of “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War,” and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board and the board of directors of the American Society of News Editors.

Maria Hinojosa

Hinojosa is the Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit organization based in New York City committed to uplifting voices, stories, and perspectives that have been historically overlooked in the world of audio and multimedia journalism. Futuro Media produces beautiful storytelling and vital reporting that centers Latino and Latina, Black, Indigenous, and immigrant experiences.

Hinojosa’s more than 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring the Emmy Award winning talk show from WGBH, “Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One.” Her current focus is investigative journalism, and she is the anchor and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning show “Latino USA.” She has written four books and won multiple awards, including four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Josie Huang

Huang will be recognized with the Freedom of the Press Catalyst Award, which honors journalists or organizations whose reporting has had a significant impact.

Huang currently covers Asian American communities for LAist, where she has also reported on homelessness, housing, and immigration since coming on board in 2012. In November 2023, Huang reached a significant settlement agreement with Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in connection with her violent and unlawful arrest while covering a protest in 2020. The agreement, among other things, included training requirements intended to help prevent local law enforcement officials from unlawfully arresting and assaulting journalists in the future. In 2021, California also passed legislation — spurred in part by public outrage over her detention — protecting journalists’ rights to cover demonstrations. She has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, getting her start in daily journalism at newspapers in Massachusetts and Maine before joining Maine’s public radio network as co-host of its flagship news show. While at LAist, she has been named a regional winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award and received the “distinguished journalist” award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Los Angeles chapter.

Sidahmed will be recognized with the Freedom of the Press Local Champion Award, which honors a journalist, attorney, or organization whose work has had a significant impact locally.

Sidahmed is the co-founder of Documented, a nonprofit news site covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. He previously worked for Guardian US in New York during the 2016 U.S. elections, where he covered issues including surveillance, criminal justice, and the rise of hate crimes following the election. He left the news desk to join the award-winning Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, where he helped develop new mobile-specific story formats. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon. He reported on the Syrian refugee crisis, weapons transfers to Lebanon, and the plight of migrant domestic workers. Upon moving to the U.S., he also contributed to Politico New York, where he covered real estate with a focus on the New York City Housing Authority and city politics.

Sisi Wei

Wei will be recognized with the Freedom of the Press Rising Star Award, which honors an up and coming journalist, media lawyer, or organization that has already made great strides in defending freedom of the press or who has conquered significant roadblocks in the course of telling an important story.

Wei is the editor-in-chief at The Markup, a nonprofit, investigative newsroom that challenges technology to serve the public good. In the coming months, when The Markup merges with the nonprofit news organization CalMatters, Wei will become Chief Impact Officer, focused on bringing the impact strategy she developed at The Markup to the combined, nearly 100-person organization, and forging new ways for journalism to be actionable, serve communities, and drive real-world impact. Previously, Wei was co-executive director of OpenNews and founder of the DEI Coalition, a journalism community dedicated to sharing knowledge and taking concrete action in service of a more anti-racist, equitable, and just journalism industry. She was assistant managing editor at ProPublica from 2018 to 2020, where she oversaw three editorial teams focused on news apps, interactive storytelling, and visual investigations. She also managed large, interdisciplinary investigations across the newsroom, one of which won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2020. In 2021, the International Women’s Media Foundation awarded Wei the Gwen Ifill Award, which recognizes an outstanding woman journalist of color whose work carries forward Ifill’s legacy, especially by serving as a role model and mentor for young journalists. 

For information about sponsorships and ticket purchases, please visit View a list of past Freedom of the Press Award winners on our website.

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