Author(s): Sid Holt
In a time of reckoning with wrongdoing in high places, this year's National Magazine Awards finalists and winners focus on abuse of power in all its forms. Ronan Farrow's Pulitzer Prize-winning revelation of Harvey Weinstein's depredations (New Yorker), along with Rebecca Traister's charged commentary for New York and Laurie Penny's incisive Longreads columns, speak to the urgency of the #MeToo moment. Ginger Thompson's reporting on the botched operation that triggered a cartel massacre in Mexico (National Geographic/ProPublica) and Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal's New York Times Magazine investigation of civilian casualties of drone strikes in Iraq amplify the voices of those harmed by U.S. actions abroad. Alex Tizon's "My Family's Slave" (Atlantic) is a powerful attempt to come to terms with the destruction in plain sight in his own upbringing.
Responding to the overt racism of the Trump era, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah analyzes Dylann Roof, the South Carolina shooter, and white supremacist terrorism in a Pulitzer-winning profile (GQ), and Ta-Nehisi Coates's "My President Was Black" (Atlantic) looks back at the meaning of Obama. Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham's ESPN reporting exposes the seamy sides of the NFL. In addition, David Wallace-Wells offers a portrait of our climate change-ravaged future (New York); Nina Martin investigates America's shameful record on maternal mortality (NPR/ProPublica); Ian Frazier asks "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?" (Smithsonian); and Alex Mar considers "Love in the Time of Robots" (Wired with Epic Magazine). The collection concludes with Kristen Roupenian's viral short story "Cat Person" (New Yorker).