MOLLY NATIONAL JOURNALISM PRIZES


Molly is our legend. Her editorial run here lasted six years, from 1970 through 1976, when we lent her back to the wider world. Thing is, she never quite left: Her irreverence and irrepressibility continue to help define the Observer. Her love for the organization and drive to make it go left us, when she died in 2007, a clear path to the future.

We named the MOLLY (always all caps) Prize after her as a way to honor this legacy. Winners represent the best in American journalism; reporters willing to tell stories that need telling. They’ve included Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes with ProPublica and NPR, Shane Bauer in Mother Jones, Joseph Neff, the News & Observer, Esther Kaplan in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Dave Philipps in The Gazette (Colorado Springs), and Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker.

Each year, winners are feted at a dinner in Austin. Past keynoters of the event include Joan Walsh, Jose Antonio Vargas, Dan Rather, Ellen Goodman, Seymour Hersh, Gail Collins, Paul Krugman, Connie Schultz, John Quiñones and Jamelle Bouie.

Our annual MOLLY Prize dinner not only serves as an opportunity to celebrate the best in investigative and commentary journalism, but is also the Texas Observer’s largest fundraiser of the year. Our reader’s commitment to independent, investigative journalism helps keep the Observer going, as we pursue collaboration—with other media outlets in Texas and nationally—over competition, stories that derive power from the recognition that people are experts in their own lives, and investigations that make data public and free for anyone to access.

Event Registration

Ticket registration for the 2022 MOLLY Prize dinner will become available in early 2022. 

Submissions

Calls for submissions to the 2022 MOLLY National Journalism Prizes will open in early 2022.

Past Winners

2021
Katie Engelhart, The California Sunday Magazine – Investigative Journalism Prize

Kyle Whitmire, Alabama Media Group – Excellence in Political Commentary/Columns

2020
Pamela Colloff, ProPublica

2019
Hannah Dreier, ProPublica

2018
Michael Grabell & Howard Berkes, ProPublica/NPR

2017
Shane Bauer, Mother Jones

2016
Joseph Neff, the News & Observer

2015
Esther Kaplan, the Virginia Quarterly Review

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