2022 Investigative & Public Service Reporting (Large Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Jodi S. Cohen & Jennifer Smith Richards

ProPublica & Chicago Tribune

The Price Kids Pay

Comments From the Judges:

“The solid, dogged reporting here exposed how schools, local police and pseudo-courts turned minor school infractions into potentially devastating debts for families and trumped-up records that could follow students through life. It is shameful that local authorities were involved in this way, but they clearly benefited from the ability to extort money from families (mostly people of color) while schools managed to remove and discourage attendance by students they deemed a problem. The impact from these stories was immediate and widespread as state and local officials pledged to actually obey state law and stop the practices that were harmful to so many.”

“There is so much to love about this series. The findings are damning and clearly explained. The stories are filled with specific examples that make you want to shake your head again and again. I love how they keep hammering the absurdity and counter-productive nature of this by just stating facts. They go the extra step to connect the dots for readers in a way that is very effective. The amount of work that went into these articles were tremendous and it shows. In addition to the work with public records and data analysis, there are so many indications of skillful interviewing throughout the piece.”

Eliza Shapiro & Brian Rosenthal

The New York Times

How Hasidic Schools Are Reaping Millions but Failing the Students

Comments From the Judges:

“This entire package is an example of stellar reporting and fantastic writing. Eliza and Brian’s journalistic instincts show through in so many ways – spotting things in the data that don’t seem quite right and chasing down answers, earning the trust of their sources and, ultimately, writing about this difficult topic in a way that doesn’t critique an entire culture. In addition to the overall findings and storytelling, there are many little touches that I appreciate, such as how specific they get about the number of people who told them any given thing (i.e., “nearly three dozen teachers”).”

“Exhaustive reporting of an insular community. Really outstanding work getting so many current and former community members to speak. Also glad to see the Times translate this story into Yiddish, so it’s more accessible for the impacted community.”

Samantha Shapiro 

The New York Times Magazine

Young and Homeless in Rural America 

Comments From the Judges:

“This is a beautifully written, intricately reported story and a master class of using scenes to show, not tell. The stories about these people are so moving and it brings an important insight into their lives- as well as makes a clear and compelling case that this happens far too often than any of us would care to think. I was moved and engrossed and learned from this piece- all marks of excellent journalism.”

“This deep look at the under-counting of homelessness among rural students – and the challenges that schools and families face in rural areas where, as the writer says, there is little to no safety net. While the safety net in cities is far from adequate, this is an important piece of the problem of homelessness in America that rarely gets as much attention as it deserves. Kudos to Samantha Shapiro for bringing this issue to light.”