WASHINGTON, DC - The winners of the 37th annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards have been announced in Washington, DC, and Sacramento Bee photojournalist Manny Crisostomo’s essay “The Leftover People,” about Hmong refugees who journey from camps in Thailand to start new lives in California and Minnesota, won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for International Photography. The essay was published in September, 2004, as a 20-page special report that included 70 photographs.
Photojournalist Robert Gauthier of the Los Angeles Times won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography for his photographic essays that were included in the Times’ series, “The Troubles at King/Drew.” The five-part special project, which also won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Grand Prize for its writers (Tracy Weber, Charles Ornstein, Mitchell Landsberg, and Steve Hymon), was what an RFK judge called “a devastatingly detailed investigation into the chronic medical blunders, mismanagement, and cover-ups that have plagues Dr. Martin Lurther King, Jr./Drew Medical Center for years.” Gauthier has been an NPPA member since 1981.
RFK Award winners will be honored Tuesday, May 24, 2005, at a ceremony at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
The Bee reported that Crisostomo, 46, an NPPA member since 2001, worked with writer Stephen Magagnini off and on for six months, “virtually living with Hmong immigrant families.” Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez said, "We're honored because this is one of journalism's most coveted awards. Manny's photography was stunning and poignant. The best thing is that Manny's work, and that of reporter Steve Magagnini, struck a chord with many of our readers who reached out to help new immigrants in our community."
Crisostomo joined The Bee in 2002 after being a staff photojournalist at the Detroit Free Press, where he won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1989 for an essay about an inner-city high school. He’s a photojournalism graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia’s School of Journalism. Crisostomo came to America from Guam, where he was born and raised, to go to college in Missouri when he was 19.
About Gauthier’s photographs and the Times’ series, “The Troubles at King/Drew,” RFK judges said, “Through moving images, investigative photography and hard-nosed public service journalism, the staff at the Los Angeles Times courageously exposed the inexcusable consequences of negligence and leadership inaction at this historic institution,” and, “By uncovering the horrific practices at the hospital, the newspaper produced excellent journalism that might also save lives now and in the future." Gauthier and the Times’ writing team also won the 2005 Tobenkin Award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the project.
Gauthier, 43, has been a staff photojournalist at the Times since 1994, and worked for the San Diego Union Tribune from 1988 until joining the Times. Before that, he was with the Times Advocate in Escondido, CA, and The Bernardo in San Diego, CA. He’s a journalism graduate of Fresno State University in 1983.
A complete list of winners for the 37th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards is online here.