Willie Levi, now 67, was one of more than 1,000 selected over the years for a for-profit program that took in young men from state institutions and trained them in agricultural work — and some basic life skills. (Credit: New York Times) (video)
"A New York Times story about a group of men with intellectual disabilities who worked in servitude for decades has won top honors in the 2014 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability," Arizona State University announced last week.
The Oct. 13 release also said, "First place went to Dan Barry, Kassie Bracken and Nicole Bengiveno of The New York Times for 'The "Boys" in the Bunkhouse,' which describes in text, photos and video the lives of men who for 30 years worked in an Iowa turkey processing plant for almost no pay. The story raised questions about the federal law that permitted the men to be underpaid for doing the same work as their non-disabled colleagues, explained how regulators effectively sanctioned the exploitation, and detailed the squalid living conditions and mistreatment the men endured.
"The New York Times team spent most of 2013 documenting the men's experience, which was first revealed in stories in The Des Moines Register in 2009. . . ."
The university also said, "The second-place award went to the Anchorage Daily News. Judges also awarded an honorable mention to the Kansas City Star, as well as to a student-created deaf and hearing newscast at Arizona State University.
"The contest, the only one devoted exclusively to disability reporting, is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. . . ."
"Some people don't like to equate the issue of gay marriage with the civil rights struggle,"Allen Johnson, a black journalist who is editorial page editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., wrote Sunday. "But what is it, if not a struggle for civil rights? That's why I suspect more African American clergy have not only turned away from their traditional disdain for gay marriage, but embraced it as a cause.
"Some state lawmakers also have embraced it as a cause, in fierce opposition to a recent federal judge's decision declaring gay marriage legal in North Carolina. They may be as motivated by politics as personal convictions. But, whatever the reason, they won't go down without a fight. And, in the end, they will lose.
"On a personal note, I was born black and raised Southern Baptist. That meant I was taught that homosexuality was wrong because the Bible said so. I also have seen scripture — specifically, 'the curse of Ham'— similarly quoted to defend slavery, discrimination, segregation ... and worse.
"I am older and wiser today, and so, apparently, are more of the rest of us. Our courts are telling us that laws banning gay marriage are unconstitutional. We should listen. . . ."
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: In North Carolina, same-sex marriage goes to church
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Gay rights vs. religious freedom in Houston
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: A Maryland church helps members of a black gay street gang reshape their lives (Oct. 7)
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Time for Kansas to move past same-sex marriage hang-ups (Oct. 9)
- Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: As Vatican revisits its stance toward gays, a KC lesbian is left in the cold (Oct. 15)
- Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Gays are now marrying in North Carolina — and the sky hasn't fallen (Oct. 10)