In two decades at The New York Times, Clifford J. Levy ’89 has earned a place among the country’s most accomplished journalists. As a local reporter covering campaign finance, he won a George Polk Award in 1998. Five years later, his six-part series exposing the abuse of mentally ill adults in state-regulated homes earned a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. And in 2009, he received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his dispatches from Russia.
This week, Levy returned to the Polk Award list, sharing the top honor for international reporting with colleague Ellen Barry for their Times series “Above the Law,” which documents a “culture of impunity” in modern Russia. (Levy introduces the 21-article series in the video above.)
According to the Feb. 22 Polk Award release, Levy and Barry “enlightened readers time and time again with hard-hitting reports that spurred candid discussion in Russia about how far the country had strayed from post-Soviet Union promises that no one would remain above the law.”
The award citation also noted that the stories Levy and Barry uncovered were widely cited inside Russia, where investigative reporting can be treacherous for local reporters. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 46 Russian journalists have been killed since 1992.
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