Rebecca Nagle received the American Mosaic Journalism Prize
for stories on Native peoples, migrants and 'hidden' American communities
The Heising-Simons Foundation announced that freelance journalists
Rebecca Nagle and Darcy Courteau are recipients of the 2020 American
Mosaic Journalism Prize, which includes an unrestricted cash prize
According to the foundation's news release, the award is one of
the largest dollar amounts ever given as journalism prize in the
Rebecca Nagle, Cherokee Nation, and a freelance correspondent for
Indian Country Today, has an extensive body of work, which
includes her Crooked Media podcast, "This Land." The podcast explores
the Native American treaty rights and implications in the state
of Oklahoma. Courteau's work includes a June 2019 feature in The
Atlantic, "Mireya's Third Crossing," about an undocumented immigrant's
journey across the U.S.-Mexico border.
(See Related: Crooked
Media launches 'This Land' podcast. Cherokee host Rebecca Nagle
asks: 'Who owns Oklahoma?')
As stated in the organization's release, the prize is awarded for
excellence in long-form, narrative, or deep reporting about underrepresented
and/or misrepresented groups in the United States. It recognizes
journalism's ability to foster understanding and aims to support
The Heising-Simons Foundation describes both Nagle and Courteau
in a complimentary light based on their work in journalism.
Nagle is a writer, audio journalist, and advocate, based in Tahlequah,
Okla. She frequently writes about Native issues including tribal
sovereignty, representation in culture and media, cultural appropriation,
and violence against women. She is the creator and host of the podcast
"This Land," which focused on the case of Carpenter v. Murphy,
a U.S. Supreme Court case about the treaty and land rights of five
tribes in her home state.
Though our stories are foundational to this country, most often
contemporary Native Americans are erased from the news and mainstream
media," Nagle said in the release. "With 'This Land' I wanted listeners
to learn not only about one Supreme Court case, but about tribal
sovereignty and the ongoing fight for Native rights in this country.
I am humbled and honored to get this award and hope it serves as
an example to media outlets and editors that people are ready to
hear Native stories."
Courteau is a writer and photo essayist based in Washington, D.C.
and the rural Arkansas Ozarks. Among her enduring subjects are the
outsider communities she has made home. She has written about the
Ozarks, life in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood in D.C., and
dog sledding in the Alaskan wilderness. Her long-form story "Mireya's
Third Crossing" follows a Mexican woman on her journey to attain
a visa after living unauthorized in the U.S. for 25 years.
Courteau also received the American Mosaic Journalism Prize
for stories on migrant communities. (Photo: Screen capture
"I'm interested in how economic and political forces bear on individual
lives," Courteau said in the release. "But more than that I'm interested
in our relationships to faith, work, land, and animals, what we'll
barter for some freedom, and how we come to terms with solitude.
I'm grateful to those people, many of them very private, who have
revealed their stories to me."
According to the Heising-Simons Foundation, the prize is based
on confidential nominations invited from more than 100 leaders in
journalism throughout the country. A panel of 10 judgesincluding
journalists from "The Washington Post," the "Los
Angeles Times," the "Boston Globe," NPR, VICE News,
the "Oxford American," Columbia University, and Arizona
State Universityselected the recipients.
For more information about the American Mosaic Journalism Prize,