At work, our Star Tribune team has been winning a number of awards for A Cry for Help – about police killing mentally ill people – a story I spent several months wrangling on the data and visualization end of things.
Yesterday the project won a first place National Headliner Award for web/interactive storytelling, and a couple weeks ago it won the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting. It’s also been nominated for the Silver Gavel Awards from the American Bar Association (winners to be announced in May).
Our coverage of the Philando Castile shooting was also a finalist for the 2017 IRE Awards, which was a tremendous honor for our team just to be mentioned.
The Strib also took seven other National Headliner Awards in yesterday’s haul and included an honorable mention for Andy Mannix’s fantastic Solitary: Way down in the hole, which I also put a few months of work into.
Of course, all of journalism waited with bated breath for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize announcements last week, which recognized a lot of great reporting from last year.
The most striking takeaway for me this year is how much great data-driven journalism has been recognized, and how deeply intertwined it’s been with traditional shoeleather enterprise reporting. For us, all of our biggest projects were huge team efforts tackling the challenges of traditional reporting, data reporting, photojournalism, graphic design and web design.
I don’t do this for awards. Some of the best, longest-working journalists haven’t amassed many. It’s an honor just to be working alongside my extremely talented colleagues on such vital storytelling.