Newswise — New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named Maria Danilova, a journalist based in Washington, DC, whose longform work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine and the Atlantic, among other publications, the winner of its sixth Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award. 

The Institute also named Dan Xin Huang, who is also based in Washington, DC, as the award’s runner-up. 

The Carter Institute established the award in the fall of 2014 to commemorate the life and work of journalist Matthew Power (1974-2014). Given annually and funded by more than 650 separate donations, it provides $12,500 to an early-career journalist researching an important story that illuminates the human condition. As the 2020 runner-up, Huang will receive $4,000 in support.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has made in-depth journalism more necessary than ever,” says Carter Journalism Institute Director Ted Conover, a friend of Power’s. “At the same time, the challenges of doing even basic reporting are huge. Travel is important for this kind of work, so we’re allowing this year’s winners extra time given the uncertainty around that.” 

Last year’s Power Award winner, Yi-Ling Liu, published “How a Dating App Helped a Generation of Chinese Come Out of the Closet,” in the March 5, 2020 edition of the New York Times Magazine.  

Danilova, who covered Russia and the former Soviet republics as a reporter for the Associated Press, was born in Moscow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Moscow State University, a master’s in Political Science from Central European University, and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in economics and business journalism. Danilova was also a winner of the Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship, which she used to work on a series of stories about women activists in Russia. 

Danilova, who speaks five languages, will use the grant from the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award to research and write a long-form article about health care in Russia. 

Huang has reported from China and Central Asia, and his writing has appeared in Foreign AffairsGuernicaPacific Standard, and the Village Voice. He previously worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in New York. Huang will use his award to research and write a story about education and class in the Midwest.

This year’s judges were Conover, Jessica Benko, Robert S. Boynton, Christopher Cox, and Roger Hodge. 

Power was an established freelance writer who contributed to such publications as GQ, Harper’s Magazine, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and the New York Times. He also worked in broadcast journalism. Power was a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in international reporting. His work was frequently featured in annual anthologies such as Best American Travel Writing and Best American Spiritual Writing. Power died on March 10, 2014, while accompanying the explorer Levison Wood, who was trying to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Nile River.       

For details on the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, visit: Applications for next year's competition may be submitted starting in November. 

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