In a time of reckoning, this year's National Magazine Awards finalists and winners focus on abuse of power in many forms. Ronan Farrow's Pulitzer Prize–winning revelation of Harvey Weinstein's depredations (New Yorker), along with Rebecca Traister's charged commentary for New York and Laurie Penny's incisive Longreads columns, speak to the urgency of the #MeToo moment. Ginger Thompson's reporting on the botched U.S. operation that triggered a cartel massacre in Mexico (National Geographic/ProPublica) and Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal's New York Times Magazine investigation of the civilian casualties of drone strikes in Iraq amplify the voices of those harmed by U.S. actions abroad. And Alex Tizon's "My Family's Slave" (Atlantic) is a powerful attempt to come to terms with the cruelty that was in plain sight in his own upbringing.
Responding to the overt racism of the Trump era, Ta-Nehisi Coates's "My President Was Black" (Atlantic) looks back at the meaning of Obama. Howard Bryant (ESPN the Magazine) and Bim Adewunmi (Buzzfeed) offer incisive columns on the intersections of pop culture, sports, race, and politics. In addition, David Wallace-Wells reveals the coming disaster of our climate-change-ravaged future (New York); Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham's ESPN the Magazine reporting exposes the seamy sides of the NFL; Nina Martin and Renee Montagne investigate America's shameful record on maternal mortality (NPR/ProPublica); Ian Frazier asks "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?" (Smithsonian); and Alex Mar considers "Love in the Time of Robots" (Wired with Epic Magazine). The collection concludes with Kristen Roupenian's viral hit short story "Cat Person" (New Yorker).