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Young journalists honored with national Livingston Awards

In this May 1, 2017, photo, Associated Press reporter Claire Galofaro poses for a photo in Louisville, Ky. Galofaro was named Tuesday, June 6, 2017, as one of three winners of Livingston Awards during a ceremony in New York. Galofaro won a local news award for her 2016 series "Surviving Appalachia," which looks at the economy in that rural part of America. (Courtesy of Claire Galofaro via AP)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Young journalists who wrote about economic despair in Appalachia, covered mass killings in Syria and put a human face on immigration policy have been named winners of Livingston Awards.

Associated Press reporter Claire Galofaro, The California Sunday Magazine’s Brooke Jarvis and The New Yorker’s Ben Taub received the $10,000 awards intended to encourage journalists younger than 35. The late Gwen Ifill also was honored at a Tuesday ceremony in New York City.

The University of Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation help fund the awards.

Galofaro won a local news award for her 2016 series “Surviving Appalachia,” which looks at the economy in that rural part of America.

“The lesson I learned most vividly from reporting these stories is that a generally improving American economy means nothing to people who look out their window and see only devastation and decay,” said Galofaro, who turned 35 last month. “There is a consequence of forsaking these blue collar places.”

Jarvis, 32, received an award for national reporting. Contest organizers said her investigative narrative, “Unclaimed,” featured a migrant who was bedbound in a San Diego hospital for 16 years and the networks of immigrant families searching for missing loved ones.

Taub’s investigative “The Assad Files” was recognized for international reporting. Taub, 25, revealed the workings of an independent agency and its efforts to capture and smuggle government documents that link mass torture and killings in Syria to the highest levels of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“These winners underscore the vital work and absolute necessity of journalism in documenting the human experience,” said Lynette Clemetson, Livingston Awards director. “Through meticulous reporting and exceptional storytelling these reporters crafted richly detailed, affecting narratives that added depth, nuance and new understanding to often oversimplified issues.”

Ifill was honored with the Richard M. Clurman Award for her commitment to counseling, nurturing and inspiring young journalists. Ifill served as co-anchor and managing editor of PBS “NewsHour” and moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” until her death in November.

The award is named after the late Richard M. Clurman, former chief of correspondents for Time-Life Service and architect of the Livingston Awards. Ifill’s family plans to donate the $5,000 prize to the Gwen Ifill Fund for Journalism Excellence.

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