2022 News (Midsize Newsroom) Winners

Kalyn Belsha, Stephanie Wang, Erica Meltzer & Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat

About the Winners:

As new laws restricting how teachers could discuss racism, bias, and sex swept the country last year, Chalkbeat reporters were playing close attention to how these decisions were being made and their effects on children. The news organization’s leaders said they challenged reporters to be the public’s eyes and ears — getting inside both classrooms and committee meetings to make their news coverage of changes to curriculum, standards, and classroom materials as clear and detailed as possible.

The result is a series of stories watchdogging the curriculum-making bureaucracy and illustrating what key changes meant for students and teachers.

Comments From the Judges:

“From one Colorado lawmaker’s efforts to downplay the word “Nazi” to Tennessee’s struggle to set up a book appeals process required by law, these stories illuminate just how culture wars are playing out in complex ways with educators and schools caught in the crosshairs. Chalkbeat elevates student and educator voices to underscore what’s at stake when lessons are politicized.”

“Excellent work. What stands out is the focus on the subjects (students etc.) who are affected. Having various cities represented and subjects from different backgrounds adds to the storytelling!”