2023 Beat Reporting (Large Newsroom) and Moskowitz Prize Winner

Talia Richman, The Dallas Morning News

About the Winner:

Talia Richman said she gasped after hearing what happened to Madison, a 13-year-old girl who tried to report a potential shooting threat – and for that, Madison was kicked out of her middle school.

After the article was published in The Dallas Morning News, the Lewisville school district instituted new rules to ensure discipline is applied fairly and consistently. Madison’s story was widely shared by advocates and educators nationwide as they discussed the challenges of school safety and discipline. The story also was picked up by This American Life, giving the girl and her mother an even larger platform to bring attention to unjust discipline against Black children.

Talia’s beat reporting also exposed problems plaguing Texas schools as well as the solutions that are being tested inside of them. “I didn’t shy away from revealing systemic issues while centering the nuanced voices and perspectives of the most affected people,” she said. 

Comments From the Judges:

“Assured writing about important topics. Most impressive was her story of a middle school student who was suspended for raising concerns about school safety. The story was carefully reported, powerfully told, and ultimately helped spur changes to the district’s discipline policies.”

“Wide variety of topics and all of them were handled very well. These stories have it all: solid reporting, terrific writing and storytelling and the stories appear to have helped change policy.”

Photo credits: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News; Jason Janik, contributor to The Dallas Morning News