2018 Beat Reporting (Large Staff) Finalist: Claire McNeill

Claire McNeill | Tampa Bay Times

About the Entry

Claire McNeill digs into the reasons behind and repercussions of education news in Florida. Key stories included a sensitive examination of the background behind a suicide at a college that had recently fired its last full-time mental health counselor, the psychology of rural students to help readers understand the low rural student college enrollment rate, and a heart-rending portrayal of a college shooting victim’s isolation, pain, and struggles.

Comments from the Judges

“This reporter writes with impressive empathy across very diverse subjects.”

“This journalist is raising issues that I don’t see addressed in higher education coverage — or at least not in this way. For example, black students’ feelings of isolation at Florida’s flagship public university and rural students’ grappling with place, working-class culture, and the push to get a college degree. I liked her use of sources and attention to detail.”

“This is a reporter who is very good at scanning the disparate institutions on her beat and finds good human interest stories that illuminate broader conflicts and debates in higher ed.”