Patricia Evangelista book wins NYPL’s Helen Bernstein award  

Evangelista is a trauma journalist for Rappler. Photo: Mark Nicdao

The New York Public Library announced on May 2 that Patricia Evangelista is the winner of the 2024 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country published by Penguin Random House.

Journalist Patricia Evangelista came of age in the aftermath of a street revolution that forged a new future for the Philippines. Three decades later, in the face of mounting inequality, the nation discovered the fragility of its democratic institutions under the regime of strongman Rodrigo Duterte. 

Some People Need Killing is Evangelista’s meticulously reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines’ drug war. For six years, Evangelista documented the killings carried out by police and vigilantes in the name of Duterte’s war on drugs—a crusade that has led to the slaughter of thousands—immersing herself in the world of killers and survivors and capturing the atmosphere of terror created when an elected president decides that some lives are worth less than others.

Evangelista is a trauma journalist and former investigative reporter for the Philippine news company Rappler. Her reporting on armed conflict and disaster was awarded the Kate Webb Prize for exceptional journalism in dangerous conditions. She was a Headlands Artist in Residence, a New America ASU Future Security Fellow, and a fellow of the Logan Nonfiction Program, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Her work has earned local and international acclaim. She lives in Manila.

The finalists for the NYPL’s Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism are:

Ben Goldfarb for his book Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet by W. W. Norton

Tom Mueller for How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death, and Dollars in American Medicine by W. W. Norton

Jeff Goodell for The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet by Hachette

Roxanna Asgarian for We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America by Macmillan– NYPL

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