Columbia Journalism Names Winners of 2019 Alumni Awards

Dean Steve Coll and the Alumni Association of the Columbia Journalism School are proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 Alumni Awards.

The winners are Elisabeth Bumiller ’79, Washington bureau chief of The New York Times; Ailsa Chang ’08, host of NPR’s All Things Considered; Martin S. Gottlieb ’69, former editor and reporter at several publications including Newsday, The Bergen Record and The New York Times. The J-School is also presenting the First Decade Award to Mariana Atencio ’09, a correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News.

This year’s winners are leading coverage of Washington developments, they are hosting the most-listened to radio news show, they have spent half a century delivering quality investigative journalism and they are reporting in English and Spanish.

“These alumni represent the best of the Journalism School,’’ Dean Steve Coll said of the winners. “At a time when the press is under attack all over the world, and especially in our own country, the work of these four should stand as a reminder that the best defense is to practice and contribute bold, independent journalism. We are inspired by their adherence to the highest standards of journalism.’’

Winners are selected by a panel of jurors made up of previous alumni award winners and a representative of the Alumni Board.

The 2018 awards will be presented Saturday, April 27, at a luncheon at Low Memorial Library during the Journalism School’s Alumni Weekend.

Here is more on this year’s winners:



Elisabeth Bumiller ’79  is Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, a position she was named to in September 2015. She oversees daily operations and leads all news coverage from Washington for The Times. Previously, she served as the Washington editor and deputy Washington bureau chief. As a reporter, she has covered the White House, the Pentagon and John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign for The Times. Before joining The Times, she was a reporter for The Washington Post in Washington, New Delhi and Tokyo. She is the author of several books, including “Condoleezza Rice: An American Life.”


Ailsa Chang ’08 is a host of NPR’s All Things Considered, and she is also a correspondent for Planet Money. An award-winning journalist, she was a congressional correspondent with NPR's Washington desk. Before joining NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at WNYC where she focused on criminal justice and legal affairs. In her first career, Chang was a lawyer. After earning her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School, she  served as a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.


Martin S. Gottlieb '69 has distinguished himself as a reporter and editor at several newspapers including the New York Daily News and The New York Times. He served as editor of the Village Voice, the International Herald Tribune and the Bergen Record when it broke the scandal involving Gov. Chris Christie and the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. In between he found time to teach at the J-School for more than 15 years. After retiring from The Record in 2016, he was called back into duty three days a week as the head of Newsday's investigative unit. There, he edited a 48-page, 30,000-word expose of Long Island politics told through the life of a former street hoodlum who became the owner of a castle-like North Shore estate where he was shot and nearly killed. 


Mariana Atencio ’09 is the 2019 First Decade Award winner chosen among graduates of the last 10 years. She has reported for Spanish-language and English-language media. Currently she is a correspondent for NBC and MSNBC, where she has reported on the separation of families along the border earlier this year, the midterm elections and the 2016 elections. A native of Venezuela, she was also a reporter and anchor for Fusion TV and an investigative reporter at Univision, where she was part of the team that won a Peabody Award for the documentary “Rapido y Furioso” (Fast & Furious), about a controversial U.S.-directed arms program in Mexico.



Maria Newman
Director of Alumni Relations
(212) 854-9938