Science and health reporter, the New York Times
Donald McNeil Jr. has spent decades covering plagues, among them AIDS, Ebola, malaria and SARS. Often, he has done so from the angle of the hundreds of millions of poor people most impacted.
So, when it came to exposing the cruel racial and economic disparities of COVID-19, McNeil was ready. His unflinching coverage of the pandemic as it engulfed New York — and his cogent explanations on The Daily, the Times’ highly regarded podcast — involved predictions about its spread and stern assessments of failures to contain it. But it also includes reasoned advice about staying as safe, sane and healthy as possible during the crisis. Columbia Journalism School acknowledged his work in September by giving him the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.