Columbia Journalism School Alumni and Fellows Win 2023 George Polk Awards in Journalism | Columbia Journalism School

Columbia Journalism School Alumni and Fellows Win 2023 George Polk Awards in Journalism

Columbia Journalism School is proud to announce that several alumni and fellows are recipients of the 2023 George Polk Awards. They are Laila Al-Arian '06, executive producer of Fault Lines, a 25-minute documentary program at Al Jazeera Media Network, Terrence McCoy '12, Rio de Janeiro Bureau Chief at The Washington Post, Valerie Hopkins '13, Moscow correspondent at The New York Times covering Russia and the War in Ukraine, Nicholas Nehamas '14, investigative reporter at the Miami Herald, and Sarah Blaskey '17, investigative reporter at the Miami Herald.

Valerie Hopkins '13 of The New York Times won for Foreign Reporting for coverage of the war in Ukraine. She is also one of 2023’s Alumni Award First Decade winners.

Terrence McCoy '12 of The Washington Post has been awarded with the Environmental Reporting award for his six-part series, “The Amazon, Undone.”

Sarah Blaskey '17, Nicholas Nehamas '14, Ana Ceballos, Mary Ellen Klas and the staff of the Miami Herald won the Political Reporting Award for exposing the cruel method behind two flights taking misinformed South American refugees from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard at the command of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Executive Producer Laila Al-Arian '06, Senior Producer Kavitha Chekuru, and Correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous of Al Jazeera Media Network have won the Foreign Television award for “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh,” a segment on Fault Lines.

The team from won the Local Reporting award for exposing the criminalization of people for profit in a small Alabama town. It was a story partly funded by a 2021 grant from the Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights’ Initiative in Reporting on Race and Criminal Justice.

The George Polk Awards were established in 1949 by Long Island University to commemorate George Polk, a CBS correspondent who was murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. The Polk Awards are granted annually to honor special achievements in journalism.

Read the full announcement for more information on this year’s winners.


About Columbia Journalism School

For more than a century, the Columbia Journalism School has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications. It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights, The Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism, the Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, the Mike Berger Awards and the WERT Prize for Women Business Journalists.