Friday, June 8, 2018

Jill Krementz covers the Livingston Awards Lunch

The 2018 Livingston Award Winners: Ronan Farrow (The New Yorker), Emily Steel (The New York Times), Riham Feshir (74 Seconds), Tracy Mumford (74 Seconds), Christina Goldbaum (The Daily Beast), Meg Goldbaum (74 Seconds) and Michael S. Schmidt (The New York Times).
Livingston Awards Lunch
The Yale Club
50 Vanderbilt Avenue
Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Ken Auletta and Ronan Farrow.
This year's 37th Annual Awards Lunch was once again an inspiration to us all, honoring young journalists under the age of 35 for their groundbreaking reporting. The Livingston Awards are a program of Wallace House (as in Mike Wallace) at the University of Michigan, home of the Knight Wallace Fellowships.

Entries from print, broadcast and online journalism are judged against one another and the recipients are awarded prizes in the amount of $10,000 each for local, national and international reporting. This year's baby-faced honorees were Rihan Feshir, Meg Martin, and Tracy Mumford (Local Reporting); Ronan Farrow (National Reporting), Emily Steel and Michael S. Shmidt (also National Reporting); and Christina Goldbaum (International Reporting).

The Richard M. Clurman Award for Mentoring was awarded to Tech Wizard Walt Mossberg.

Director Lynette Clemetson was on hand as were many members of the judging panel: Ken Auletta, Dean Baquet, John F. Harris, Clarence Page, Bret Stephens and Kara Swisher.
Lynette Clemetson is the Director of the Wallace House which bestows the Livingston Awards. She is a Knight-Wallace alum who came to Wallace House from National Public Radio.
Charles Eisendrath, who ran the Livingston Awards for 35 years, with Riham Feshir (31) and Meg Martin (34), who were two of the three winning trio for their Local Reporting covering — a 22-episode podcast series (74 Seconds) for Minnesota Public Radio News.

On July 6, 2016, police in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota pulled over Philando Castile for a broken taillight. 74 seconds later he was dead when Officer Jeronimo Yanez fired seven shots into the vehicle, viewed by millions because Mr. Castile 's girlfriend used her phone to stream the traumatic event and its ever-evolving story.
Walter Bernard, Bud Trillin, and Chris Porterfield.
Clarence Page and Bret Stephens are both Livingston Award judges of National Reporting.
Mr. Page is a columnist and Editorial Member of the Chicago Tribune. Mr. Stephen is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. Bret is a recent snag from The Wall Street Journal.
Patti Kenner, who is a generous benefactor of the awards luncheon, with her friend Dr. Ruth — who just celebrated her 90th birthday.
Emily Steel, 33, who shared the Livingston with Michael S. Schmidt, and their proud boss Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of The New York Times.

I asked Mr. Baquet what he does to relax between breaking news and I learned he reads fiction; he's currently immersed in Andrew Sean Greer's Pulitzer-prize winning novel Less. It's hard to imagine, while watching The Fourth Estate presently airing on Showtime, how Banquet has time to read anything but his own reporters minute-to-minute coverage of President Trump.
The lovely centerpieces on each table.
As lovely as the flowers were, the cookies were a major distraction. That’s my seat-mate Peter Osnos, the Founder and Editor-at-Large of PublicAffairs books. Years ago Peter’s son Evan, a staff writer for The New Yorker, was a Livingston awardee.
Ronan Farrow and Ken Auletta at Table No. 3 filled with Ronan's New Yorker colleagues.

Recent Pulitzer award winner 29-year-old Ronan Farrow, who won a Livingston Award for National Reporting.

His mother Mia was not present because her daughter Quincy was in the hospital giving birth to a baby girl named Coretta.

A busy week I'd say ... welcoming a Pulitzer, a Livingston, and a niece.
Ken Auletta presented the award for National Reporting to Ronan Farrow saying that the only way Ronan could have topped the year was to win the NBA playoffs. “And Cleveland could have used him.”

As one of the reporters who unleashed the #MeToo movement, journalist Ronan Farrow accomplished something that other reporters, for decades, had failed to do. Through more than 140 interviews, and the persistence to find an editor to publish his work, he gathered the first on-the-record accounts of alleged assault and rape by Hollywood producer and powerbroker, Harvey Weinstein. His exposé of the sprawling system of spies Weinstein employed to keep stories silent hastened the mogul's downfall.
Ronan Farrow accepting his award. That is New Yorker Deputy Editor Pamela McCarthy sitting on the far left resting her chin on her hands. Ronan hailed Ms. McCarthy who sits in an adjoining office and had been privy to most of his telephone conversations with the victims of alleged assault and rape by Harvey Weinstein.
Emily Steele thanking everyone for her national reporting award which she shared with Michael S. Schmidt. They co-authored O'Reilly Thrives, Then Fails, as Settlements Add Up, a three-part story for The New York Times documenting explosive allegations of lewd behavior by Bill O'Reilly.

Michael S. Schmidt and Dean Baquet standing near the podium listening to their colleague Emily Steel.

Mr. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent for The Times, covering Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into links between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Dean Baquet, a proud Executive Editor, with Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt.
The Daily Beast's Christina Goldman was the Livingston recipient for excellence in International Reporting. Her three-part series — "Strong Evidence that U.S. Special Operations Forces Massacred Civilians in Somalia" — has become essential reading on growing U.S. military engagement and counter-terrorism efforts in the al-Shabaab-controlled territory.
Walt Mossberg, Creator of the Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal, Co-founder of All Things Digital, Recode, the D, and Code Conferences, as well as the Former Editor of The Verge, was honored this year with the Richard Clurman Mentoring Award.

He was lionized in a projected video presentation which included comments from Kara Swisher (in dark glasses) as well as many other recipients of his unfailing generosity.
Bert Ifill and his wife Gisele were celebrating their 9th wedding anniversary. Mr. Ifill is the brother of the deceased Gwen Ifill, who was honored last year with the Dick Clurman Mentor Award.

Ms. Ifill, an American television journalist and author, died at 61 from endometrial cancer. She was the moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" on PBS and co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff. We all miss her.
Dr. Ruth, Dean Baquet, and Patti Kenner.

Alas, I was not able to eavesdrop on any of her advice.
Chris Porterfield with Ben Eisendrath and Ben's mother, Julia Eisendrath.
The end of another wonderfully inspiring Livingston luncheon at the Yale Club. Chris Porterfield, a Yale alum, is my former colleague at Time magazine.

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved. Contact Jill Krementz here.