The MOLLY National Journalism Prize

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The Molly National Journalism Prize—Recognizing Superior Journalism in the Tradition of Molly Ivins! 

The MOLLY Prize is awarded for an article or series of up to four short, related articles or columns telling the stories that need telling, challenging conventional wisdom, focusing on civil liberties and/or social justice, and embodying the intelligence, deep thinking and/or passionate wit that marked Molly’s work.

This year’s prize has been awarded to Esther Kaplan for “Losing Sparta: The Bitter Truth Behind the Gospel of Productivity” in The Virginia Quarterly Review. 


Alex Campbell, Buzzfeed News: “Battered, Bereaved & Behind Bars” (October 2014)

David Jackson, Gary Marx & Duaa Eldeib, Chicago Tribune: “Harsh Treatment” (December 2014)

The MOLLY National Journalism Prize was presented at a dinner on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and immigration reform activist Jose Antonio Vargas delivered a keynote address, and actress and activist Kathleen Turner emceed the event program. The Bernard Rapoport Philanthropy Award was presented to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and Dr. Don Carleton for preserving the Observer archives as a historical and academic resource.


Katha Pollitt, The Nation: “Subject to Debate” columns (April 2014)

Jay Root, The Texas Tribune: “Hurting for Work” (June 2014

Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker: “The Outcast” (November 2014)

Ken Armstrong, The Marshall Project and The Washington Post: “Death by Deadline” (November 2014)

Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly: “The Witness” (September 2014)

Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker: “Before the Law” (October 2014)

Gary Fields and John Emshwiller, The Wall Street Journal: “As Arrest Records Rise, Americans Find Consequences Can Last a Lifetime; Long After Arrests, Records Live On; For More Teens, Arrests Replace School Discipline; and What It Felt Like to Be a ‘Suspicious’ Black Teenager” (August 2014)


2014: Dave Philipps, The Gazette (Colorado Springs)
2013: Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker
2012: Trevor Aaronson, Mother Jones
2011: Jeff Sharlet, Harper’s Magazine
2010: A.C. Thompson, ProPublica
2009: Rick Casey, The Houston Chronicle
2008: Diane Suchetka, The Cleveland Plain Dealer