Eseosa Olumhense’s 2017 investigation of what happens to crime victims and witnesses who seek to transfer to new apartments within the New York City Housing Authority has won the Martha Cowan Front Page Award for Best New Journalist from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.
Olumhense’s in-depth project, which was originated and supported by the Investigative Fund and its Ida B. Wells Fellowship Program, previously won the Best Feature-Internet award from the New York Press Club.
“After suffering from violence, thousands of NYCHA residents who have witnessed or experienced crime in their developments in the past 10 years have been transferred by NYCHA to a new development under the agency’s unique emergency transfer program,” Olumhense, now a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, wrote in her story. A year-long investigation, which included interviews with dozens of NYCHA tenants, social-service providers, city officials, experts on NYCHA crime, and housing and legal advocates experienced with the program, as well as a review of almost a decade of emergency transfer program data, found that “many of the families who rely on NYCHA’s emergency transfer program are not getting the help they need.” Olumhense appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show to discuss her findings.
Joining Olumhense among the Club’s featured winners were Maggie Haberman of The New York Times (Journalist of the Year), Martha Teichner of CBS Sunday Morning (Lifetime Achievement) and Marcia Biggs of PBS NewsHour (Marie Colvin Front Page Award for Foreign Correspondence). Other news organizations winning Front Page awards from the Newswomen include WNYC, The Hechinger Report, The Washington Post, ESPN The Magazine, The Atlantic, National Geographic , Vice News, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.