Molly Ball, national political correspondent for TIME magazine, and Jenna McLaughlin and Zach Dorfman of Yahoo! News have been named recipients of the 32nd annual Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting in 2018. Erika Ritchie of the Orange County Register has been selected as an honorable mention recipient.
Ball is being recognized with the Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency Award for her coverage of President Donald J. Trump’s second year in office.
The award judges, comprised of journalism and academic experts in areas of the presidency and national defense, said Ball’s reporting, “shed valuable light on the tumult surrounding the president’s year, including a vivid account of Mr. Trump’s relationship with Republican leaders in Congress, a lengthy exclusive interview with Attorney General Sessions, and a close look at the strategic moves of the Trump Legal Team.”
McLaughlin, who reports on national security for Yahoo! News, and Dorfman, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and contributor for Yahoo! News, received the Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense in recognition of their reporting about a security compromise with in a key intelligence communications system, which detailed the immense human, technical, and resource costs of failure while maintaining the integrity of efforts to close vulnerabilities.
“Their stories on the challenges U.S. defense and intelligence agencies face in maintaining technological leadership at a time when cybersecurity threats change by the day, illuminated the need for creativity and perseverance in an era when state and non-state adversaries can inflict great harm to U.S. personnel and interests at levels below direct armed conflict,” the judges said. “Their efforts challenge readers to evaluate and weigh the consequences of activity in an often unseen realm of national security and force us to consider the commitments required to safeguard the values of free societies.”
Ritchie, who is recognized as an honorable mention recipient for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense, was selected by judges for representing “the kind of local, hard-nosed reporting that results from the development of trusted relationships with the military personnel in your community. Her work is distinguished by putting a local face to broad issues facing the defense community, such as women in military combat jobs, the increasing number of fatalities from military training accidents and the government’s response to the trend, and the need to reintegrate and train military personnel for jobs in the civilian workforce following service. ”
This year, the award will be presented by Michael Ford, son of the late President Gerald R. Ford and Chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, at the Foundation’s Annual Dinner on Monday, June 3, 2019, at The Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation sponsors the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and National Defense to recognize and encourage thoughtful, insightful, and enterprising work by journalists covering the presidency and national defense.
About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.