The annual RFK awards honor outstanding reporting on topics of “human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action.” Canary follows Brittain’s reporting journey in the aftermath of a January 2019 article she authored about failures in the D.C. court system’s handling of a sexual assault case. Soon after publication, a baker in Alabama reached out with sensitive information relevant to the judge in the case. Canary draws on over 75 hours of audio recordings that were gathered from reporting trips to three states and numerous phone calls with sources over an 18-month span. The podcast shows what it takes to come forward with a claim of sexual assault, how journalists work to corroborate such an account, and why that reporting ultimately matters.
Since its October 2020 release, the podcast has been used as a training tool for therapists, sexual assault prevention officers and advocates who represent survivors of sexual violence. The immense care that the Canary team took in handling the subject matter has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year, Brittain, Flores and Sand were named finalists for two national journalism awards honoring ethical decision-making: the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics, issued by the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin, respectively. And late last year, Apple Podcasts named “Canary” one of its top 12 podcasts of 2020.
Please join us in congratulating Amy, Reena and Bishop.