Some good work from Africa

A few weeks ago, two great journalists I follow were honored as Livingston Award finalists.  The Livingston Award, given each year to a journalist under 35, is probably the single most prestigious award a young journalist can get, and even to be named a finalist is what is formally known as a Big F-ing Deal.

Mary Wiltenburg was nominated in the national news category for some of her work from the year-long Little Bill Clinton series, which looked at the life of a third-grade refugee and his classmates in a refugee charter school near Atlanta, Ga. Here’s her story on what it’s like to be a refugee in America, which links to the fancy-schmancy project page — articles, blogs, videos, all. Mary’s also snagged a 2010 American Society of Journalists and Authors award for this project.

Shashank Bengali was nominated for a series on Africa’s population growth.  Shashank was McClatchy News’ correspondent in Africa for five years, until they made the incredibly short-sighted decision to close their Africa bureau and ship him back to the States.

Congrats to Mary and Shashank, whose dogged reporting and careful writing manages to overcome the clichés, myopias and other pitfalls of so much Africa reporting.

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