2016 Beat Reporting for Print/Online (Small Staff) Finalist: Melanie Asmar

Melanie Asmar (Reporter) | Chalkbeat

About the Entry

Melanie Asmar’s reporting on Denver Public Schools, Colorado’s largest school district, included breaking a story about a school board appointee’s criminal record; coverage of a proposed tax increase for education; and an in-depth portrait of a longstanding charter school’s struggles.

Comments from the Judges

“Asmar’s stories serve her community well. She writes with grace, and marries policy to people effectively. She takes us into classrooms, and shows us what happens when a school detaches from its for-profit provider. Her reporting into a board member’s abusive past is searing.”

“I was really impressed with Melanie’s work. It’s a good mix of watchdog stories and education writing that really packs a punch. The crisp writing, the strong anecdotes, the characters in her story all made me want to read the entire piece from start to finish. Her work is full of solid, clear-cut writing that leaves the reader with a strong image of the schools and teachers she’s writing about.”