MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing
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Lisa Song, ’09, never ceases to impress. As part of a team led by ProPublica, Lisa was named as a finalist for the 2022 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Awarded by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Goldsmith Prize honors public service investigative journalism that moves policy or politics on the local, state, or federal levels.

Lisa shares the Goldsmith Prize finalist spot with reporters Lylla Younes, Al Shaw, Ava Kofman, Max Blau, Maya Miller, Kiah Collier, Alyssa Johnson, and Ken Ward, Jr. As part of a collaboration between ProPublica, The Texas Tribune, and Mountain State Spotlight, the team conducted an extensive data analysis of more than 1,000 hot spots of toxic industrial air pollution across the United States and created an interactive map that allows those living near these sites to estimate their air pollution risk. The resulting story —”Sacrifice Zones: Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution“— showcases how the EPA created “sacrifice zones” where overlooked communities near toxic manufacturing plants bear disproportionate health costs. Since the story was first published last November, more than 76 local news outlets have reported on findings in their area. The EPA has also pledged to launch its own air pollution analysis and to create new cumulative risk guidelines.

In addition to being a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize, ProPublica’s story is also a finalist for the 2022 National Magazine Awards. Winners for both awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 5.