Editor’s Desk: FERN wins Beard media award for investigative journalism

(Left to right) Sam Fromartz, Ted Genoways, and Ted Ross of The New Republic at the Beard Awards. Photo by FERN.

We’re pleased to announce that Ted Genoways’ article, “The Only Good Muslim Is a Dead Muslim” on Friday won a James Beard Foundation media award for investigative journalism. A collaboration between FERN and The New Republic magazine, the story reported on a 2016 election-night plot by homegrown extremists to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, that housed Muslim meatpacking workers from Somalia. The town’s response — to protect and reassure those workers — reflected Garden City’s long history of embracing the immigrants who come to work in the area’s packing plants.

This piece provided a window into just what the “Heartland” has become — and how it is far more textured than the simple urban/rural, multicultural/white divides we often hear about. We congratulate Ted and our friends and partners at The New Republic on this amazing story and look forward to more work with them.

This was FERN’s third Beard award. Our first was in 2013 for Tracie McMillan’s “As Common As Dirt,” with The American Prospect magazine. In 2015, we also won for Lisa M. Hamilton’s “The Quinoa Quarrel” with Harper’s magazine.