Texas Observer Announces ProPublica’s Hannah Dreier as the 2019 MOLLY National Journalism Award Winner

Dreier’s work on “Trapped in Gangland” provides a “necessary dose of reality in a conversation dominated by the Trump administration’s fear-mongering,” the judges wrote.

Hannah Dreier
Hannah Dreier ProPublica/Claudio Papapietro

Dreier’s work on “Trapped in Gangland” provides a “necessary dose of reality in a conversation dominated by the Trump administration’s fear-mongering,” the judges wrote.

Hannah Dreier
Hannah Dreier ProPublica/Claudio Papapietro

The Texas Observer and the Texas Democracy Foundation will award Hannah Dreier its 2019 MOLLY National Journalism Prize for her work on “Trapped in Gangland.” The award will be presented at a June 6 gala in Austin, when John J. Lennon, Pamela Colloff and Leora Smith will also receive honorable mentions for their work.

In her investigation for ProPublica — done in partnership with New York magazine, Newsday, This American Life, and the New York Times Magazine — Dreier explores the real-life world of the MS-13 gang as experienced by the residents of Suffolk County, New York, an upscale Long Island community. In the words of one judge:

The range of characters and voices explored for each story — victims, families, neglected kids trying to escape the gang — make the series a comprehensive, necessary dose of reality in a conversation dominated by the Trump administration’s fear-mongering. Dreier’s flawless storytelling weaves in historical context and analysis that tie the big picture to the present day. And her reporting has sparked change — not just in policy but in the lives of the victims she profiled. A remarkable piece of journalism.

Lennon, currently incarcerated, earned his honorable mention thanks to “stunning, big-picture” prison reporting from inside the system, while Colloff and Smith will be honored for their “ambitious” examination of the failings of blood spatter forensic science.

Each year, the Texas Observer and the Texas Democracy Foundation award a print or online journalism award of $5,000 and two honorable mentions of $1,000 for great American journalism. The competition honors the memory of Molly Ivins, legendary Observer reporter, columnist and former editor. Tickets to the June 6, 2019, gala are still available.

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important?
The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work — which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.


Mike Kanin is the publisher of the Texas Observer. He has many years of media experience, including a role as the founding publisher of the nonprofit local daily the Austin Monitor.


You May Also Like:

Top