The Ruderman Awards are the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to recognizing excellence in the coverage of people with disabilities and disability issues.
A major investigation by NPR into the hidden epidemic of sexual violence against people with intellectual disabilities won the top honor. In addition to NPR, journalists from eight organizations won awards, including The Dallas Morning News, ProPublica Illinois, WNYC, Kaiser Health News, KING-TV, Better Government Association/WBEZ and New Mobility.
The Katherine Schneider Medal is an honor recognizing disability journalism by small media outlets. The contest continues the work of Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist, who launched the first NCDJ awards program.
2018 Winners: Ruderman Awards for Excellence in Reporting on Disability
1st place – National Public Radio
“Abuse and Betrayal”
Joseph Shapiro, Robert Little, Meg Anderson
Joseph Shapiro is an NPR News Investigations correspondent who has covered disability stories since 1987. His recent investigations have exposed the overuse of seclusion and restraint for students with disabilities and the failure of government to enforce the rights of people with disabilities to receive long-term care at home.
Meg Anderson is a producer on the NPR investigations team, where she has contributed to award-winning work on maternal care, housing and immigration issues. Before earning her graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she became intimately familiar with the power of language and storytelling as a bilingual third grade teacher in Minneapolis.
Robert Little leads NPR's investigations team. He works with reporters, producers, and editors to develop investigative stories for all of NPR's broadcast and digital platforms, and also oversees partnerships with other non-profit news organizations doing high-level investigative work. Before joining NPR, Little spent 15 years as a reporter and editor at The Baltimore Sun. He's won numerous local and national journalism awards, including the George Polk Award for his investigative reporting in Iraq.
2nd place – Dallas Morning News
“Pain and Profit”
J. David McSwane, Andrew Chavez
3rd place – ProPublica Illinois
Duaa Eldeib, Sandhya Kambhampati, Vignesh Ramachandran, David Eads
Honorable Mention – WNYC
Audrey Quinn, Host; Aneri Pattani, Producer; Phoebe Wang, Producer
2018 Winners: Katherine Schneider Medal
1st place – Kaiser Health News
“Nowhere to Go”
2nd place – KING Television
“Back of the Class”
Susannah Frame, Taylor Mirfendereski, Ryan Coe
3rd place – WBEZ Chicago Public Media, Better Government Association
Alejandra Cancino, Odette Yousef
Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter covering immigration, race and class. In 2016, Odette was part of a team at WBEZ to win a National Edward R. Murrow Award for best Continuing Coverage of how local officials in Puerto Rico were sending drug addicts to unlicensed therapy groups in Chicago, with false promises of professional treatment. She has contributed to NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PRI’s The World and WNYC’s The Takeaway.
Honorable Mention – New Mobility Magazine
“Flying the Unfriendly Skies”