ASA Recognizes NPR Reporter Hansi Lo Wang for Outstanding Extensive Coverage of Decennial Census

The ASA Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award Committee has selected National Public Radio reporter Hansi Lo Wang as the 2019 recipient of its eponymous award.

Committee chair Alan Tupek stated, “We are proud to honor Hansi Lo Wang. The many letters from prominent members of our community supporting his nomination were effusive in their praise for all aspects of his reporting, from timeliness and depth to extent and insight.”

Katherine Wallman, 1992 ASA president and former chief statistician of the United States, wrote the following in support of Wang’s nomination:

In more than 50 years of interacting with reporters, I can count on one hand those who have demonstrated the professionalism Mr. Wang has exhibited in his research for every article and his reporting of the stories. In every instance, he has taken great care both to understand all of the aspects of the subject and to report in an objective, clear manner.… Hansi has documented more completely than anyone in the media or elsewhere the technical and policy aspects of the centerpiece of our nation’s knowledge—the Decennial Census.

Hansi Lo Wang, NPR

Katherine Smith Evans, who is with the American Economic Association and was instrumental in the nomination, praised Wang for his clear explanations and effective popularization of a set of arcane aspects of the Decennial Census: “His work will ultimately help improve the functioning of our democracy by increasing Americans’ understanding of issues that can have direct and often weighty consequences for them.”

Wang is scheduled to receive the award at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, where he will also be a speaker in a session about the 2020 Decennial Census.

The committee’s full citation reads as follows:

The recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award is Hansi Lo Wang, national correspondent, National Public Radio. Mr. Wang is recognized for extensive, deep and broad, up-to-the minute coverage of events concerning the addition of a citizenship question and other issues related to planning the 2020 Census, as well as aspects of Census Bureau statistical surveys. He thoroughly covered the political path of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, experts’ assessments of the effect of a citizenship question on Census survey response rates, stakeholder groups’ response to the idea of adding the question, and the legal challenges made and court trials pursuing the ultimate fate of the question. He has taken great care to understand all aspects of the subject and to report in an objective, clear manner, increasing the potential for social impact. Between March 2017 and January 2019, Mr. Wang delivered a total of over 80 substantive stories on weighty issues concerning the US Census Bureau and its statistical surveys.

Recent past winners include Kelly Servick (Science), Natalie Wolchover (Quanta), Julie Rehmeyer (Discover), Regina Nuzzo (Gallaudet University), Alan Schwarz (The New York Times), and Amanda Cox (The New York Times).