Best Miami Herald Reporter - 2011
Fearless is a word journalists love to toss around at each other: fearlessly taking on the establishment, fearlessly reporting on crime, fearlessly writing a negative column about LeBron. But let's be honest. It's time to call a fearless moratorium on anything less than the kind of work Jacqueline Charles has been churning out of Haiti ever since an earthquake devastated the island January 12, 2010. The Miami Herald correspondent has lived and worked amid death and destruction on an unimaginable scale, covering cholera outbreaks, election riots, lawlessness, and humanitarian miracles. She has attended friends' and relatives' funerals, including that of a beloved aunt who died of a heart attack during an aftershock. And through it all, she has produced extraordinary journalism week in and week out, often by putting a human face on Haiti's miseries. Who could forget her scoop that President René Préval after the disaster had been left with only a single white shirt, which he washed and rewashed daily while he tried to keep his broken nation afloat? Her dedication to Haiti's story made her a Pulitzer finalist and winner of the National Association of Black Journalists' Journalist of the Year Award. More important for all of us, she is already back in Port-au-Prince, writing about the tough transition to a new president and the sputtering rebuilding efforts. Fearless? You heard it here first.