New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, together with a group of distinguished outside judges, will be selecting The Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade in the United States. Ten years ago New York University, using some of the same judges, selected The Top 100 Works of Journalism of the Twentieth Century in the United States.
The eighty works of journalism listed here were nominated by the faculty at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (with some student suggestions) and by our outside judges, who include: Madeleine Blais (University of Massachusetts), Dorothy Rabinowitz (Wall Street Journal), Morley Safer (60 Minutes), Gene Roberts (University of Maryland), Ben Yagoda (University of Delaware), Eric Newton (Knight Foundation), Leon Dash (University of Illinois), Juan Williams (NPR), Sylvia Nasar (Columbia) and Greil Marcus (cultural critic).
The full-time faculty and our outside judges are now being asked to vote on these nominees -- by March 22, 2010. The "Top Ten" -- in order -- will be announced on April 5, 2010, at New York University. Please feel free to comment on the nominees and make suggestions. Clicking on a nominee in the list that follows will bring up a short description and a link either to the work or to a discussion of the work.
-- Mitchell Stephens, Professor of Journalism, NYU
The winners have been annoucned on this page.
In this book, veteran Time essayist Iyer examines the human impacts of globalization. He concludes that globalization leaves people feeling discombobulated rather than exotically multi-cultural.
Three-part series reporting on AIDS in Zimbabwe, its social consequences and the gender issues that contribute to its spread-winner of a duPont-Columbia Award.
Undercover reporting confronting us with the penal system's dehumanization of both jailed and jailer. Winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award.
With characteristic verve, Gladwell imprinted a term and an idea upon the culture.
The focus was on Pakistan, not Afghanistan, but still this reporting on the area's instabilities and Islamic militants qualifies, in the words of the duPont-Columbia Awards, as "strikingly prophetic."
The novelist spends a week following the McCain campaign in search of the "unspun" and of reasons why the "Political Process" shouldn't be seen as a "yawn."
A series of articles that uncovered systematic problems and abuses within the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, including harsh treatment of foreign nationals. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize.
Schlosser applies investigative techniques to the US fast-food industry.
A slow-paced and deeply moving cinema-verité examination of the legacy of sharecropping in the south, as seen through a great-grandmother's struggle to hold her family together and a local school superintendent's struggle to keep his schools from being taken over by the state. Winner of a duPont-Columbia Award.
Widely discussed undercover reporting on the difficulty of making ends meet with minimum-wage jobs in America.
This photograph - showing resilience in the face of devastation - became the iconic image of September 11 in the United States.
Though The New York Times provided detailed, human-scale coverage of the terrorist actions during the subsequent days and weeks, the import of the event was well captured by this single line atop the front page the day after.
A special section published regularly after the September 11 attacks provided extraordinarily detailed and searching local, national and international reporting on the attacks and their consequences, along with moving profiles of a large number of the victims.
In this series of articles, Smith and Emshwiller used sources they had already been developing to reveal the deception and possible corruption behind Enron's announcement of an unexpected loss on October 16, 2001.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles about decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups in the Boston Catholic archdiocese reverberated to Rome and beyond.
From interviews with Mayor Giuliani to email messages sent from the top floors of the burning towers - a poignant and powerful look back on that day. Winner of a duPont-Columbia Award.
In this book, Langewiesche paints an unsentimental picture of the disassembly of the World Trade Center's ruins. Through painstaking reporting, he gets beyond mere hero-worship, telling a nuanced story about the workers who toiled upon the still-smoldering pile. In the process, Langewiesche's journalism ignited a firestorm of controversy - the kind that always accompanies the puncturing of a cherished myth.
The final collection of the late biologist's erudite, lucid and lyrical monthly essays in Natural History.
In this series of articles, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, Nazario tells the story of a Honduran boy who travels great distances to reunite with his mother in the United States.
An informal, hand-held look at life on the bus that followed the George W. Bush campaign in 2000 and at the good-humored candidate who was the focus of all the attention.
This highly influential article revisited Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish minority in the late 1980s and the Iraqi regime's alleged ties to Al-Qaeda. The article was among those cited by Bush administration officials in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
In explaining the methods of Billy Beane, general manager of the small-market Oakland Athletics, this entertaining and controversial book brought a wider audience an understanding of the statistical methods that are increasingly being applied to baseball and other sports.
DuPont-Columbia Award-winning indictment of the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq and an exploration of its consequences.
A total of more than 2,600 reports, 250 hours. Earned a duPont-Columbia Award for "ambitious, dramatic, personal and intelligent coverage that uses the medium in extraordinarily creative ways."
Ongoing reporting from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. These journalists provide honest, detailed and evocative accounts of soldiers and marines on the battlefields of the war, often while putting themselves in harm's way.
A model of immersion reporting and narrative storytelling, this deeply empathic, deeply disturbing portrait of life among the underclass challenges the received notions of poverty theorists and ordinary readers on the left and the right alike.
This book, based on intensive and original readings, draws a historical and philosophic connection between Islamic extremism and twentieth-century totalitarianism and was important in building a liberal argument for the Iraq War.
A travel writer with a light touch tracks down some of the world's great scientists in search of answers to weighty questions about life and the universe.
This article was the first major piece that revealed to the United States the frightening and mysterious string of murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The number has since risen to some 400. Most murders are still unsolved, and Juarez has grown into one of the world's murder capitals.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles that examine the deaths and injuries of American workers, and demonstrate that some employers break basic safety rules. A collaboration among The New York Times, Frontline, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, along with the Graduate School of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley. James Sandler and Robin Stein also worked on this piece.
Exposed the Bush administration's failure to heed prewar reports that predicted many of the problems that occurred after the invasion of Iraq.
This influential and controversial article explores the difficult choices that modern women must make in a world where the husband/wife division of labor has eroded or, in the case of single motherhood, disappeared completely. She argues that the erroneous assumption that the situations of rich and poor women are synonymous leads to the dubious assertion that universal child care is a good solution and also questions the hypocrisy of upper-middle-class women who rely on immigrant nannies.
This Academy Award-winning documentary creates a multifaceted portrait of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, known as the architect of the war in Vietnam. The score by Phillip Glass intensifies the ever-multiplying sense of tragedy.
Exposing abuses at the American-run Iraq prison Abu Ghraib. On March 3, 2004, Banbury reported from Baghdad on allegations of abuse and neglect at Abu Ghraib. On April 28, 2004, 60 Minutes II, with Dan Rather as correspondent and Mary Mapes as producer [both later left CBS after their 60 Minutes II report that questioned President George W. Bush's National Guard service was itself questioned] broadcast a report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib, including many images of prisoner mistreatment. Beginning on April 30, 2004, on the Web and May 10, 2004, in the magazine, Hersh published three articles detailing the abuses and investigating the policies and decisions that led to them.
This winner of the National Magazine Award for Reporting begins with a woman who finds the head of her son by a well and ends with an interview with a leader of the janjaweed, the group responsible for this and so many other atrocities. In between it makes frequent visits to the Bush administration and performs an analysis of American policy.
Coll draws on years of deep reporting in South Asia and Washington to reveal new details about the CIA's involvement in cultivating the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the failures of US foreign policy in dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Suskind caught a Bush advisor disparaging the "reality-based community" in the course of his reporting on the role of faith and certainty in the Bush presidency.
The magazine's editor caused a stir by arguing that liberals, who once failed to take the Soviet threat sufficiently seriously, are being similarly lax on Islamic extremism.
These satirical election reports were, on occasion, more effective in cutting through the omnipresent spin and hypocrisy than the more sober presentations of traditional news organizations and - among many of the young, at least - were possibly more influential. Winner of a Peabody Award.
This book of detailed and humanizing profiles grew out of Shadid's Iraq reporting for The Washington Post, which won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Shadid reported on Iraqis as individuals with whom readers in the United States could connect, rather than as symbols of policies and events.
Sometimes revelatory, sometimes magical compilation of rare footage and new interviews.
An investigation of American failures in Iraq and their consequences, based on his articles in The New Yorker and elsewhere.
This book brought to a larger public academic debates over globalization and helped set the agenda for globalization debates ever since. Friedman argued that technological and economic developments have leveled the field for countries vying for global predominance, especially China and India.
Excellent radio and television storytelling on an important scientific subject: a beloved bull, Chance, is cloned but the new version, Second Chance, proves less beloved.
This extensive series of articles and editorials, produced under the most difficult of circumstances, won the newspaper a share, along with the Sun Herald, Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
This article traces Taibbi's surrealistic and harrowing journey through New Orleans, beginning five days after the disaster. The infuriating hurtles he and his fellow travelers faced in the simple attempt to help people revealed the very real and deadly consequences of inefficient bureaucracies and internal power struggles between different levels of law enforcement.
This article on the NSA's warrant-less wiretapping program - delayed by the paper in response to requests from the Bush administration - led, when it appeared, to public debates about the legitimacy of these tactics in the war on terror, to congressional hearings, to a federal judge concluding the procedures were unconstitutional and ultimately to reforms and new protocols by the administration.
Priest's investigations exposed covert CIA programs, including the rendition of terrorism suspects to countries where the US knew they would be tortured, and detailed how European allies helped the CIA transport prisoners and establish "black sites" without the knowledge of their citizens.
The dark side of the country's dramatic growth, including environmental and health problems, and inequality. This series won a Pulitzer Prize.
A lyrical work that draws on reporting and a wide reading of Arab intellectual history. In this book and his essays in Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, Ajami made a powerful case for toppling Saddam Hussein's regime.
This impassioned four-hour documentary combines news footage, still photographs and interviews with individuals from all walks of life to create a panoptic view of the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and of the systemic failings that allowed it to occur.
This book is based on Chandrasekaran's years as Baghdad bureau chief for the The Washington Post. With understated and even sympathetic prose, this shattering book details the arrogance and ineptitude of America's post-war occupation of Iraq.
Ground-level reporting, based on her The New Yorker articles, on the threat of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from one of the leading climate-change journalists.
An intense look at a Pentecostal summer camp, where children are trained to become soldiers in "God's army."
In this four-part series based on two years of reporting, Pasternak and Fisher expose the past and present of uranium mining on the Navajo homeland, including the legacy of contamination, illness and death.
This photograph, which captures an explosive confrontation with extraordinary intensity, won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.
A twenty-minute Web video of a lecture by an academic, not a journalist, but its use of moving graphics to bring to life statistical information demonstrates the potential of new media in journalism. And the news upon which this video reports - dramatic global economic and social development, particularly the rise of Asia - may prove to have been the most significant story in the world in the past sixty years.
From the former editor of Wired, a searching look at the dream of having "in one place all knowledge, past and present," and at the issues we face as that dream is being realized.
This book, which won a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, is a beautifully written and rigorously reported account of the events and ideas that led to the attacks of September 11.
In this one-hour special report, Phillips investigates the history and troubling resurgence of the noose in the United States.
This two-part, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of abuses at Walter Reed Army Medical Center exposed the substandard treatment soldiers received at this Washington, D.C., hospital and led to firings, resignations, government investigations and efforts to better care for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
A meditation upon the death in Iraq of a young American soldier who was inspired to enlist in part by Hitchens' own writings.
In this series of articles, Gonzalez delves into the world of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem. The articles are accompanied by multimedia presentations that elucidate the many faces of Pentecostalism in the United States.
The story of an Afghan taxi driver who died in US custody in 2002 is used to illuminate and indict American detention and interrogation policies in this Academy Award-winning documentary.
These Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations led to government inquiries and new policies.
In this incisive article, Sullivan argued that Obama was the only Democratic candidate who could transcend the long-running culture wars between right-wing and left-wing baby boomers.
Silver's focus was usually on the horserace, but perhaps never before had a journalist brought such mathematical understanding to covering and examining coverage of a political race.
This hour-long radio documentary finally made the "subprime" mortgage crisis clear and cogent, and the result was the most downloaded episode in the history of the show.
In this disturbing and deeply researched article, Jenkins investigates the deaths of seven gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park and explores the politics of wildlife conservation in a poor and volatile nation. Stirton's stunning photographs, which won a National Magazine Award for photojournalism, make it easy to understand why "murder" was the word chosen for the fate of these gorillas.
A deeply nuanced look at the notorious photographs of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and the soldiers who snapped those photos. This is much more than a story about wartime atrocities; it is a meditation on our inability to capture absolute truth, even with something as seemingly objective as a photograph.
A thorough and damning investigation, based on her New Yorker articles, of the Bush administration's more questionable tactics in the war on terror.
A documentary about the Frenchman Phillipe Petit, who caused a ruckus in downtown Manhattan in 1974 by walking on a wire between the towers of the two World Trade Center buildings. The juxtaposition of his story with the ultimate fate of the twin towers creates a thought-provoking and beautifully rendered film.
Questions and answers that revealed the limits of the candidate's fluency with policy issues.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation reveals that some of network television's military analysts had maintained their connections with the Defense Department while they were reporting for the networks.
Influential investigation into why health care is more expensive in some places than others.
New York Times columnist Kristof has been an effective American voice against human trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women in Asia. In this book, he and WuDunn analyze the practices and attitudes that undermine humane and fair treatment of women, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In this intricate, narrative-driven book, Baum follows the lives of nine New Orleanians over a forty-year period and investigates the source of their devotion to the city before and after the hurricane.
Klein's ability to disentangle complex policy questions clarified the political debates that caught up Washington for much of 2009.
A wrenching multimedia presentation (photos, film, audio interviews) that gave voice to the victims of rape during the 1994 Rwanda genocide and explored the complex feelings toward children conceived during those rapes. This is the first web-based production to win a duPont-Columbia Award.