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American Mosaic Journalism Prize Awarded to Julian Brave Noisecat and Ryan Christopher Jones

Julian Brave NoiseCat and Ryan Christopher Jones look at camera.

The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 American Mosaic Journalism Prize: Julian Brave NoiseCat and Ryan Christopher Jones. NoiseCat and Jones join a distinguished group of prize recipients, alongside past winners Jaeah Lee, Valeria Fernández, Abe Streep, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Rebecca Nagle, Darcy Courteau, David Dennis Jr., and Michelle García.

The American Mosaic Journalism Prize consists of an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000 per recipient—making it one of the largest dollar amounts given for a journalism prize in the United States— and is awarded to freelance journalists for excellence in long-form, narrative, or deep reporting about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the American landscape.

The prize is a complete surprise to its recipients. It is based on confidential nominations invited from more than 150 leaders in journalism throughout the country. A panel of 10 judges—including journalists from NBC News, NPR, ProPublica/Texas Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others—selected the recipients. We could not be more pleased with the judges’ selection.

“Once again our illustrious judges have chosen two Mosaic Prize recipients whose words and images take us to places of greater understanding, places where we are invited into the lives, journeys, joys, and sorrows of amazing people who might otherwise go unseen,” noted Board Chair Liz Simons. “We are, all of us, broadened and connected by their vital work. “

Ryan Christopher Jones is a Mexican-American photojournalist and anthropologist based in Central California. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and his work has also been featured in The Atlantic, Der Spiegel, ProPublica, The Washington Post, The Intercept, The Guardian, and others.  His photography and reporting explore, among other issues, the intersecting identities of immigrant and farmworker communities living in Central California and beyond, and the environmental politics of California agriculture.  Mr. Jones is also vocal advocate of ethical photojournalism. His work includes, among other pieces, “Underground Lives: The Sunless World of Immigrants in Queens”, which portrays the life of Amado, a man living in an underground apartment in Queens, and the great sacrifices he makes to provide a better life for his family in Coatzingo, Mexico.

“In the news, photographic depictions of vulnerable communities have often resorted to dangerous tropes and stereotypes. As a photojournalist it has been my goal to visually document the complex stories of these under-represented communities with the care and nuance they deserve; to show that they respond to social struggle with agency and intention.” —  Ryan Christopher Jones

Julian Brave Noisecat, a member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and a descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie, is a journalist currently based in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe New YorkerThe AtlanticThe California Sunday Magazine, and National Geographic, among other outlets. His recent journalism includes, among other work, “The Census Powwow,” a podcast episode reported for Snap Judgment, which follows a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation as she attempts to count everyone on her reservation in the 2020 U.S. Census.

“Indigenous communities have a perspective and an experience that matters to a broader audience. My work is inspired by a belief that Indigenous peoples’ experience and wisdom can contribute to understanding and addressing the world’s most pressing challenges – from the climate crisis to anxieties around imperialism and race.” — Julian Brave NoiseCat

The Foundation launched the American Mosaic Journalism Prize in 2018 as part of its work supporting journalism as an essential arm of U.S. democracy. It is part of a portfolio of journalism grants supporting and elevating underrepresented groups and content in journalism, which includes support of Translash, Futuro Media, Journal-isms, the Truth Be Told podcast, Our Body Politic, the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, Brief But Spectacular, and YR Media, among others. For a complete list of journalism grants visit here.

We invite you to visit the prize’s webpage to learn more about Julian Brave NoiseCat and Ryan Christopher Jones and to explore their outstanding journalism.


– 2022 Judges –