Alumna Nikole Hannah-Jones '03 (MA) receives Columbia University's John Chancellor Award

UNC School of Media and Journalism master's alumna and former Park Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones '03 (M.A.) received the 2018 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Columbia University Journalism School on Tuesday, Sept. 25. 

The award is named for NBC News anchor John Chancellor, who did outstanding reporting in various fields, including civil rights and politics. The award committee selects one recipient annually for his or her long-term achievement in the journalism and broadcasting industry. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Hannah-Jones will be presented the award and a $50,000 prize.

Earning her master's degree in journalism and mass communication at Carolina in 2003, Hannah-Jones has been reporting about education, segregation and discrimination since. She first began her career at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, reporting on predominantly black public schools in Durham. She joined ProPublica in 2011 as an investigative journalist to unveil issues such as civil rights, fair housing, racial segregation and so on. She started to cover civil rights and racial injustice for The New York Times in 2015 and became one of the leading reporters in these fields.

“I am so very surprised and honored to receive this tremendous recognition from Columbia Journalism School," said Hannah-Jones in the Columbia Journalism School announcement. "This award is particularly meaningful to me because it is named after John Chancellor in honor of his reporting in Little Rock, Arkansas, on the battle for school desegregation, a subject for which I have dedicated my life to reporting. I hope to live up to the standards of excellence and journalism set by the other prestigious awardees who have come before me.”

The Chancellor Award is one of many recent prestigious honors for Hannah-Jones. She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2015, and later granted a Peabody Award for her body of work addressing ongoing school segregation in the United States. In 2016, she helped found the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. In October 2017, she was named a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and awarded a $625,000 "genius grant" by the MacArthur Foundation and received a UNC Distinguished Young Alumni Award alongside fellow alumna Brooke Baldwin '01. Additionally, Hannah-Jones and Baldwin delivered the 2017 commencement addresses for the MJ-school and UNC-Chapel Hill, respectively.