A.C. Thompson, a staff reporter for ProPublica whose work frequently exposes social injustice and the abuse of power, is winner of the 2011 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will present the award at Boston University on October 4, 2011, during a ceremony co-hosted by BU’s College of Communication.
Nieman curator Bob Giles said, “Thompson stands out as a leader of the new generation of dedicated, creative and highly principled investigative journalists who now walk in I.F Stone’s footsteps. He goes where others fear to tread and the public is better for it. He shines a spotlight on inequities and transgressions that otherwise would not be exposed in the press. We congratulate him on his valuable work.”
In recommending Thompson for the award, his nominator described him as “intelligent, measured, courageous and resourceful, displaying a skepticism of authority and a non-sentimental concern for the underdog and a readiness to dig deeply into public records and interviews to uncover instances of injustice – in short, a perfect candidate for an I.F. Stone Medal.”
At ProPublica, Thompson focuses on poverty, human rights and criminal justice. His reporting on events in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped to uncover a string of alleged hate crimes against African Americans and the link between police and the killings of unarmed civilians in New Orleans. In the wake of the stories, federal prosecutors opened multiple investigations, eventually charging a private citizen for an allegedly racially motivated shooting, and five active or ex-officers in connection with the killing of local resident Henry Glover.