2023 Features (Large Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Heather Hollingsworth, Carolyn Thompson & Bianca Vázquez Toness

The Associated Press

Intimate Reporting Chronicles a High-Stakes Year for Learning to Read 

Comments From the Judges:

“Compelling and varied, these stories tell heartbreaking and hopeful accounts of how families and teachers are helping children catch up on reading skills after the pandemic. I appreciated the personal stories and the open frustration and optimism that teachers and parents shared. I also appreciated that reading pedagogy was mentioned, the ‘Science of Reading,’ in one story as an approach tried.”

“They were a great example of how to take a complicated, theoretical topic like reading instruction and ground it in the real-world impact. But what I loved even more was the [anecdotes] and intense focus on kids who are so resilient and creative. There was a lot of hope in these stories.”

Kristen Taketa

The San Diego Union-Tribune

A Barrio Logan School Is Building Trust Amid Homelessness, Abuse and Other Trauma

Comments From the Judges:

“I loved this story, and [its] central point — that test scores don’t reflect the value of a school to its community — is so vital for education reporters to remember (especially in a time when we have access to so much data that is also the source of so many great accountability stories). This is the kind of story I want to see more education reporters across the country pursuing.”

“This story does an excellent job of giving readers a view into the schools considered ‘low performing’ but which are doing an exemplary job of supporting the ‘whole child’ and their families. The story demonstrates clearly how never-ending this work is but also shows the impact that this school has on students and families.”

Peter Thomson, Brian Bergstein, David Scharfenberg, Kelly Horan, Heather Hopp-Bruce & Abbi Matheson

The Boston Globe

The Radical, Forgotten Experiment in Educational Integration That Changed My Life

Comments From the Judges:

“This is a very readable story about a very interesting attempt to bridge divides. The writer deserves credit for going beyond his own experiences to include reactions of many of his former classmates. A beautifully told story, enhanced by thoughtful web design.”

“It truly shows the power of education to bring people together and just how important a solid understanding of history is to great journalism. It was well-told, and I appreciated how seriously the reporter took his topic as well as the breadth of his research and reporting. I was engrossed all the way through.”