NYU’s Carter Journalism Institute Names Yi-Ling Liu Winner of Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award


Newswise — New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has named Yi-Ling Liu, a Beijing-based freelance writer who has written for the Economist and the Guardian, among other publications, the winner of its fifth Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award.

The Institute also named Alexander Clapp, who is based in Athens, Greece, 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 2019 runner-up, Clapp will receive $4,000 in support. 

“Upheaval in the media industry has left publications struggling to pay the cost of long-form reporting that matters,” says Carter Journalism Institute Director Ted Conover, a friend of Power’s. “We see this award as an investment in journalism and in these promising writers.” 

Last year, Power Award finalist Ben Mauk published “Trillion Dollar Nowhere,” about China’s efforts to transform a remote town into a global trading hub, on the cover of the New York Times Magazine.

Liu, a recent graduate of Yale University, writes about the ways in which technology is shaping Chinese culture and society. She has also written for the New Yorker online, Foreign Policy magazine, Guernica magazine, Off Assignment, and the Los Angeles Review of Books on topics ranging from the rise of hip-hop in Chengdu to rural live-streamers in China’s northeast. Previously Liu reported for the Associated Press in Hong Kong as an Overseas Press Club Foundation fellow and worked as a creative educator, designing narrative workshops for high-schoolers in Japan, France, and the United States.

Liu will use the grant from the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award to research and write a long-form article about social media in China.

Clapp’s writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the National Interest, and the Economist’s 1843 magazine. In 2018, he was named a Balkan Fellow for Journalistic Excellence and won an EU Migration Media Award. Clapp will use his award to research and write a story about politics and crime in the Balkans.

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. Wood completed the journey in August 2014.           

For details on the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, visit: http://bit.ly/1s125XO. Applications for next year's competition may be submitted starting in November.

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