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2023 Zenger Prize

ZENGER PRIZE WINNERS 2023

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Emily Belz

Christianity Today, Jan. 3, 2023

For providing a street-level, helpful look at what libraries do, at a time when both right and left tend to act hysterically.

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Amelia Knisely

West Virginia Public Broadcasting,  Nov. 3, 2022

For honest reporting on an oft-overlooked community, and for not backing down when she consequently lost her job.

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Clint Smith

The Atlantic,  Nov. 14, 2022

For a lucid article on how Germans memorialize their country’s murderous past.

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Maurice Chammah

The Marshall Project, March 2, 2023

For promoting empathy without shirking evil, and challenging readers to think deeply about how capital punishment works in America today.

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Andy Olsen

Christianity Today, Feb. 28, 2023

For a deep dive into the nation’s troubled past and present that doesn’t spare well-intentioned missionaries who had freedom to evangelize through their support of dictators.

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Chris Staron

Truce Podcast, Dec. 6, 2022

For using journalistic tools to look inside church history and suggest ways out of evangelicalism’s current malaise.

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Wendy Kiyomi

Image Journal, Dec. 29, 2022

For offering vivid insight into the complicated issue of foster care and adoption in a way that humanizes difficulties and underscores how goodness and suffering often commingle.

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Eli Saslow

The New York Times, March 19, 2023

For showing with narrative art and specific detail how a lack of realism hurts both the mentally ill and a small business.

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Robert Weisman

The Boston Globe, March 25, 2023

For an article that with up-close compassion shows how the elderly poor in Boston face the everyday stress of urban living and cost pressures.

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Sarah Eekhof Zylstra

The Gospel Coalition, April 30, 2022

For an article with solid coverage and good interviewing of Christians running for their lives as the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan.

WATCH: This 4.5-minute video shows the 2023 Zenger Prize winners discussing the state of the journalism industry, why their craft matters, and how Zenger House is making an impact.
Zenger Prizes are the successor to the Amy Writing Awards administered by the Amy Foundation for 31 years through 2015. Prizes honor journalists whose work displayed solid reporting and storytelling.

Zenger Prize Winners' Recent Work

April 8, 2024/ "Dr. Bob, 75, Knows Aging’s Toll. He Wonders if Biden and Trump Do."

Eli Saslow expertly profiles small-town physician Bob Ross, who ponders his own cognitive fitness as he enters advanced age, while also raising questions about whether the similarly aged presidential candidates are "up to the task." 

August 24, 2023/ "Don’t Waste Your Life: How One Family Stopped Being Trashy Christians"

For Christianity Today, Emily Belz shares how one Tennessee family aims to manage their impact on the environment by living a "zero waste" life. 

August 15, 2023/ "All About Jesus: Tim Keller’s Memorial Service"

Sarah Zylstra reports on the service honoring the life of famed Presbyterian minister Tim Keller, who died this year of pancreatic cancer.  Read more at The Gospel Coalition, the publication Keller co-founded.

August 12, 2023/ "What the New Wave of Prison Art Tells Us About Incarceration Today"

Maurice Chammah's latest for The Marshall Project: "From LEGO sculptures to psychedelic quilts, several new exhibits convey the prison experience in ways that transcend words alone."

July 6, 2023/ "Transformation of a Transgender Teen"

Writing for The Gospel Coalition, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra reports on one family's experience with a child who claimed to be transgender.

July 5, 2023/ "The Young Christian Who Took Johnson & Johnson to Court"

Emily Belz for Christianity Today profiles Hanna Wilt, who "testified to God’s presence in a terminal diagnosis while pursuing a case against [Johnson & Johnson] over its baby powder."

June 25, 2023/ "He Tried to Save a Friend. They Charged Him With Murder."

In The New York Times, Eli Saslow offers a nuanced, narrative look at the complicated work of prosecuting drug deaths.

June 10, 2023/ "A Battle Over First Amendment Rights in Prisons"

Maurice Chammah co-writes an article for The Marshall Project about New York's attempts to limit prisoners' writings and artistic works.

June 2, 2023/ "Inside the Meltdown at CNN"

For a profile in The Atlantic, Tim Alberta gained remarkable access to Chris Licht in what would become his final days as head of CNN.

April 21, 2023/ "The deputy and the disappeared"

In a long-form article for CNN, Thomas Lake explores a deputy sheriff's apparent connection to two missing men of color. 

April 17, 2023/ "Seeking Absolution: Inside The Jesus Movement That Shaped My Childhood"

Yahoo! News Chief National Correspondent Jon Ward, on Religion Unplugged, shares an excerpt from his latest bookTestimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed a Generation.

March 24, 2023/ "Donald Trump Is on the Wrong Side of the Religious Right"

The Atlantic's Tim Alberta claims, "Evangelical leaders are abandoning the former president, and his Republican rivals are scrambling to win their support." 

March 13, 2023/ "Mike Pence seems to know where he's going"

In a lengthy interview for Yahoo! News, Jon Ward talks to former Vice President—and prospective 2024 presidential candidate—Mike Pence.

February 16, 2023/ "Radical beliefs in 'spiritual warfare' played a major role in Jan. 6, an expert argues"

Jon Ward for Yahoo! News: "Religious scholar Matthew D. Taylor says the rhetoric of Christian nationalist pastors can tip over into actual violence."

February 15, 2023/ "Requiem for the Spartans"

Michigan State graduate Tim Alberta reflects on how the February 13th shooting at his alma mater has already changed the campus. 

February 13, 2023/ "Ministers in Ukraine Are ‘Ready to Meet God at Any Moment’"

After a recent reporting trip to the war-torn country, Sophia Lee reports that "pastors and church leaders who stayed behind serve as if every day might be their last."

February 11, 2023/ "America Has Gone Too Far in Legalizing Vice"

In his debut for The Atlantic, Matthew Loftus considers how lawmakers restrict or permit the entrenchment of vice. 

January 3, 2023/ "A Poet for 'Bruised Evangelicals'"

Kara Bettis offers another engaging profile in Christianity Today, this time of "Anglican priest, poet, academic, and singer-songwriter" Malcolm Guite.

October - December 2022/ The James Brown Podcast

For CNN, Thomas Lake explores the mysterious circumstances around the death of "The Godfather of Soul." 

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