NY Times’ McNeil honored with John Chancellor Award
The following announcement was sent out by The New York Times health and science editor Celia Dugger:
I am very happy to report that Donald G. McNeil Jr. has won the 2020 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism for his work covering infectious diseases that afflict poor people in developing countries and pandemics that have swept the globe, endangering the health of all. This award is bestowed by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for outstanding career achievement.
Donald discovered his calling in the mid-1990s as a correspondent in southern Africa covering AIDS. When he came back to the newsroom, Donald said he asked Howell Raines, then executive editor, for a humor column, and recalled, “Howell said he wasn’t aware I had a sense of humor.” (As anyone who has sparred with Donald knows, he does, in fact, have a scathing wit.) He next approached Cory Dean, then the science editor, and proposed covering the diseases that kill the world’s poorest people. She said yes and he’s been at it ever since — years of experience that prepared him to cover the gravest health crisis the world has faced in a century.