2022 Beat Reporting (Large Newsroom) and Moskowitz Prize Winner

Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News Digital

About the Winner:

For two years, Mike Hixenbaugh has expertly chronicled the nationwide movement to purge discussions about racism, sexuality and gender from America’s schools. 

In 2020 and 2021, he was among the first to document the budding conservative backlash against diversity and inclusion efforts in public education. He continued that work in 2022 in a variety of articles. In February, Hixenbaugh published the first national news report that sought to quantify just how many library books had been pulled from school shelves. 

In May, as hundreds of journalists descended on Uvalde, Texas, to cover the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, Hixenbaugh broke away from the pack of journalists arriving at the homes of grieving parents and instead knocked on the doors of school employees.

Comments From the Judges:

“He is a masterful storyteller, often tugging on the reader’s emotions all the way through and then ending with something even more heart-wrenching. Much of his work, too, is groundbreaking, including the piece about the cellphone company bankrolling conservative school board members in several Texas school districts.”

“Mike Hixenbaugh delivered deeply reported stories that provided compelling insight into the culture wars tearing apart US schools and the country. He broke news, using public records and an extensive network of sources across the country. The rest of the national media — and even local publications — would catch up only days, weeks, even months later. He combined investigative reporting with rich, even heartbreaking, narratives.”