2023 Beat Reporting (Small Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Brian Lopez

The Texas Tribune

Brian Lopez, Public Education Reporter

Comments From the Judges:

“This entry did a great job of making school financing interesting and engaging for the reader. The appearance of the TEA voucher collusion is quite the scoop to be shared with the reporter because of the potential consequences.”

“This entry [gives] a statewide perspective on some complicated education issues. The explanations were clear and included background that was helpful but not overly long. I appreciated the teacher and aspiring teacher voices. It helped drive home why these issues are important.”

Kate McGee

The Texas Tribune & Open Campus

Kate McGee, Higher Education Reporter

Comments From the Judges:

“There is a lot going on in Texas higher ed. And not in a good way. This entry captured the tensions in the larger context of state and national politics. It was even-handed and sophisticated. Well done.”

“She really did hold the state higher education system accountable. Using public record requests, gaining the trust of sources and dogged reporting, she was able to point out how the heavy hand of [the] state government was pressing on higher education in ways that could (and in some cases did ) cause irreparable harm to the institutions in the system.

Molly Minta

Mississippi Today & Open Campus

Secrecy and Unfairness in Mississippi’s Higher Education System

Comments From the Judges:

“The combination of beat reporting and public records [requests] gives Molly Minta and the community an important advantage in knowing what is happening in the university system. Lots of breaking/exclusive news obtained through collecting public records.”

“Doggedness in the reporting and pursuit of confidential documents. A particularly powerful story was the one where the reporter documented what was essentially a threat from a powerful donor to a student protestor. The story illustrated how lines are being crossed in higher education from wealthy donors in ways that didn’t happen previously.”