Announcement from Local Editor Mike Semel, Deputy Local Editor Monica Norton and Local Assignment Editor Sydney Trent:
We are proud to announce that Terrence McCoy has won the 2019 Meyer “Mike” Berger Award, given annually by the Columbia Journalism School for outstanding human-interest reporting.
In their citation, the judges praised Terry’s “richly-drawn portraits of Americans ensnared in the most vexing political and social issues of our day. By deftly gaining access to his subject’s most private moments, McCoy gives us riveting stories that go against the conventional narrative: a heartsick grandmother struggling to understand her white supremacist grandson, a disabled truck driver desperately seeking relief for his opioid addiction, an exasperated Catholic priest conjuring mercy as he visits his brother priest in jail and the mother of a young woman murdered by an undocumented immigrant who finds courage and grace as she grieves. McCoy gives them a voice and, for us, a window into their torment. His immersive reporting is the finest example of how storytelling helps us understand our complex world.” The winning entry also included Terry’s story about a teen bride caught between her marriage and her dreams for her future at a time when more states are limiting or banning child marriage.