2023 Investigative & Public Service Reporting (Small Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Amy DiPierro & Corey Mitchell

Center for Public Integrity

Hidden Toll

Comments From the Judges:

“This is the kind of impactful journalism that spurs change for the most vulnerable in our community. The accountability journalism is woven together with poignant storytelling of real-life people who are being affected by the lack of support provided to homeless students and their families. Additional kudos for sharing the data with other newsrooms, so the impact of this journalism is more widespread.”

“The public-records work, data analyses, and persistent reporting that went into uncovering this problem, which affects hundreds of thousands of kids, are deeply [impressive]. I was especially impressed by the way the reporter used statistics on suspension rates to test the assertion of a district official that homeless children weren’t subject to [disproportionate] suspensions.”

Danielle DuClos

Green Bay Press-Gazette

A Teacher, a Sexual Abuse Allegation and a Botched Investigation

Comments From the Judges:

“Outstanding story about how gaps in the system allowed a second-grade teacher to keep teaching despite a history of sexually abusing students. Effective use of court documents to tell the story and reporting that doesn’t take anything for granted. This is the first story I’ve ever seen that made me wonder why child protective services can do nothing about public officials, just parents, and the reporter walks us through all the missed chances and loopholes in the system.”

“I could not stop reading this story. The details are gripping (and horrific) and it’s written in a way that really drew me through. The whole thing really speaks to Danielle’s very strong reporting instincts, starting with the idea to look into this in the first place. Her tracking down the original student’s mother showed excellent skills.”

Lee V. Gaines


Uncounted: Restraint and Seclusion in Indiana Schools

Comments From the Judges:

“Amazing that the reporter basically did an audit that the state failed to do. Great accountability work and goes straight to the spirit of public service journalism. Great use of data to create a database. This entry could stand out among others because it was conducted by a solo reporter.”

“This work is so incredibly strong — clear, powerful and authoritative. The graphics help a reader access the deeply reported data and are well done. The swift impact speaks to the forceful way this was reported and written. How could lawmakers not be outraged?”