Winners of the 2017 ICJA Awards Contest

 

JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

 

OWEN CHURCHILL

"Behind the High Walls of Shandong School At Heart of Murder Case." Sixth Tone, Sep. 24, 2016.

"Lust, Caution, and a Web Connection." Sixth Tone, Dec. 9, 2016.

"Xinhua’s Twitter Sports Coverage in State of Undress." Sixth Tone, Sep. 20, 2016

Owen Churchill is a freelance journalist based in Shanghai and London, who has written widely on Chinese media, social injustice, and culture. Previously, he was a founding member of digital media outlet Sixth Tone, where he worked as an editor and writer covering media, arts, and culture. Educated at London's School of Oriental and African Studies and Shanghai's Fudan University, he has spent over five years living in China.

From our judges: Owen "writes with both sensitivity and authority about a variety of subcultures in contemporary China, from pornographers to professional athletes to attendees of an Internet-rehab bootcamp. Thematically, each piece is loosely connected by exploring an aspect of the forbidden. The profile of an Internet-addiction bootcamp is the product of a sustained investigation that included interviews with former students and parents, as well as the school’s vice principal, among others, revealing a disturbing pattern of abuse.”

 

INVESTIGATIVE

 

FIRST PLACE: NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE

"Shuanggui: The harsh, hidden side of China’s war on graft, and how one man disappeared into it." The Globe and Mail, March 26, 2017

Nathan VanderKlippe is the Beijing-based correspondent for The Globe and Mail. He has travelled extensively throughout Asia, western and northern Canada, where he previously served as a print and television correspondent based in Calgary, Vancouver and Yellowknife.

From our judges: “This is a superb article. It is a gripping story, well told from beginning to end, which deftly puts the issue in historical and political context. The article also clearly appeals to the readers outside of China, making the story more readable and relevant to a global audience. That's an important duty of a foreign correspondent.”

 

SECOND PLACE: EMILY RAUHALA

Domestic abuse is thriving in China’s culture of silence.” The Washington Post, May 2, 2016.

 

THIRD PLACE: ZHEPING HUANG

Middle-class Chinese are risking jail to recoup billions lost in a ‘zero-risk’ government-backed investment scheme.” Quartz, February 13, 2017.

 

Winners of the 2016 ICJA Awards Contest

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Emily Rauhala, "The Poet Who Died for Your Phone." Time.com, June 8, 2015

Emily is a China Correspondent for The Washington Post. She was previously a Beijing-based correspondent for TIME, and an editor at the magazine's Hong Kong office. Her article is a vivid, bracing reconstruction of the life of Xu Lizhi, a migrant worker and poet who jumped to his death in Shenzhen, leaving behind a haunting record of life in China's factory cities.

INVESTIGATIVE

Yan Zhang, "New Jiangsu School Grapples with Plot of Toxic Land Across Street." Caixin Weekly, February 29, 2016.

Yan joined Bloomberg in June as their auto reporter to cover the world's largest auto market amid a transition from fossil fuels to renewables. She was previously an environment and science reporter for Caixin Media in Beijing. Yan's story attracted the attention of official Chinese media, pushed China's Ministry of Environmental Protection to restart an investigation, and urged to release of a law to contain soil pollution.

OPINION/PERSONAL NARRATIVE

Karoline Kan, "My Secret Life as a Forbidden Second Child in China." Foreign Policy, February 4, 2016.

Once a freelancer and editor, Karoline is now a researcher at The New York Times in Beijing. Her moving narrative sheds light on a lived experience at once deeply private and yet broadly significant among Chinese of her generation.