2022 Features (Large Newsroom) Winner

John Woodrow Cox, The Washington Post

About the Winner:

John Woodrow Cox has devoted more than five years to a single subject: what gun violence and school shootings are doing to America’s children. After 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were slaughtered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Cox spent all summer with 10-year-old Caitlyne Gonzales, who lost many of her closest friends.

As Cox reported and Post photographer Katherine Frey took stunning images. In “An American Girl,” Cox delivers a searing portrait of Caitlyne as she and her family grapple with what school shootings do to the hundreds of thousands of children who live through them. As always, Cox explores the aftermath from the perspective of kids rather than the adults around them.

Comments From the Judges:

“Masterful storytelling and harrowing descriptions throughout that really conveyed the juxtaposition of being a normal American student who also survived a school shooting. Unfortunately, this topic has been all too common and stories can be easy to gloss over. But this original reporting concept forces it to remain front and center, and tells a little girl’s story with such care and reverence.”

“This one stood out for me because of how the story is framed from a child’s perspective in a respectful way. It’s painful to see Caitlyne forced into a group of survivors who speak out for gun control and have to grow up unnecessarily. The reporter did an excellent job telling her story and chronicling how the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting affected those around her.”