Mother Jones, Reveal Win Three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards

Mother Jones, Reveal Win Three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards

Recognizes Separate Investigations About Abuses of Power by Psychiatric Hospitals, Mormon Church, and Law Enforcement Officials

One of the news industry’s most heralded honors, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, announced Mother Jones and Reveal won in three categories for separate investigations about abuses of power by a psychiatric hospital chain; the Mormon Church; and law enforcement officials.

Here are the three winning investigations:

  1. Print category: Mother Jones’ investigation “Inside the Psychiatric Hospitals Where Foster Kids Are a ‘Gold Mine,’” by Julia Lurie, details how the nation’s largest chain of psychiatric hospitals, Universal Health Services, mistreated foster kids in facilities around the country.
  2. Radio category: Reveal’s episode “Hidden Confessions of the Mormon Church” exposed audio recordings of Mormon Church leaders’ efforts to keep child sexual abuse cases secret, in a joint project with Associated Press reporters Michael Rezendes and Jason Dearen.
  3. Television category: The documentary film Victim/Suspect, co-produced with Motto Pictures, directed by Nancy Schwartzman and streamed on Netflix, followed Reveal’s Rachel de Leon as she uncovered the harrowing plight of sexual assault victims being wrongfully charged with false reporting.

“This announcement demonstrates the power and dynamism of merging our newsrooms earlier this year, allowing us to make outstanding investigative journalism on many different platforms – whether print, online, radio, or film,” said Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief of the Center for Investigative Reporting, which produces Mother Jones and Reveal. “As a reader- and listener-supported nonprofit news organization, we have always zealously sought to expose injustices and hold the powerful accountable, and we’re fortunate to have moved the needle on these issues.”

Following the release of the Reveal episode “Hidden Confessions of the Mormon Church” and the Associated Press investigation, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill that provides legal protections to clergy if they notify authorities of ongoing child abuse based on information obtained from a perpetrator during a confession. The measure extends to clergy the same legal protections that exist for mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, such as doctors, teachers, or therapists. In addition, the former Mormon bishop at the center of the investigation was arrested in March 2024 on felony child sex abuse charges.

Reveal previously won Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in 2022 (twice), and in 2014 (twice); this is the first such honor for Mother Jones. The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards were founded in 1969 by the reporters who covered Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, and honors outstanding reporting on human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world.