Mother Jones’ David Corn Wins George Polk Award

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How is MoJo Washington Bureau Chief David Corn like Edward R. Murrow, Carl Bernstein, David Halberstam, Gay Talese, Fred Friendly, I.F. Stone, and Walter Cronkite? So many ways really, but the most notable today is that they have all won a George Polk Award, one of the most prestigious honors in journalism. Corn is the winner in the political reporting category for the 47 percent story—his revelation of a video documenting Mitt Romney’s remarks at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans were “dependent upon the government” and would never “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

The Polk award, established in 1949 to honor a CBS correspondent murdered while covering the Greek Civil War, is given each year by Long Island University; this year’s announcement commends Corn for the “years of high-impact journalism that helped lead him to the source of the recording,” and for the “persistent digging and careful negotiation” that made the story possible. Other winners include the staff of Bloomberg News and the New York Times‘ David Barboza for uncovering corruption among China’s elite; a team of McClatchy correspondents (including former MoJo contributor David Enders) covering the war in Syria; Sarah Stillman for her New Yorker piece on teen informants; Ryan Gabrielson of California Watch for a story on abuses in state clinics for the disabled; and the Frontline team behind the documentary “Money, Power, and Wall Street.” For David and all of us at Mother Jones, it’s a capstone for an amazing year and thrilling recognition for a project that has been widely credited with changing the course of the campaign.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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