2021 Beat Reporting (Large Newsroom) Finalists

See all finalists below

Dana Goldstein
The New York Times

How the Pandemic Has Affected Students, Teachers and Families

Comments from the Judges

“She does a good job of jumping from location to location and describing what one community is doing or dealing with, without getting bogged down in detail and slowing down the story. She also manages to sneak in details that add more meaning to an attribution — like noting how one parent ’sighed deeply’ as she spoke to the reporter about her school closing down again, or another mother who ‘rubbed her temples’ just thinking about working with her son on online learning. I think the kindergarten story was groundbreaking and thought-provoking at the national level.”

“These are all good stories, well-told, making good use of  federal data; some studies are original to the NYT, including the drop in kindergarten enrollment. All stories emphasize the racial and socio-economic inequality and disproportionate impact on black, brown, and poor students.”

Erica Green
The New York Times

How the Nation’s Troubles Affected Education

Comments from the Judges

“The stories included in this submission show a breadth of extremely well-written education stories. The story about Liberty High School laid out a very bleak situation in visceral detail. I’ve seen a lot of reporting about how the pandemic has put stress on schools, but this story did a great job of ’show don’t tell’ with anecdotes from people in the school, and descriptive, scene-setting writing. The story about Queen Anne County schools was well sourced and riveting. In sum, I think Green’s reporting did what national outlets often fail to do well, which is cover a community with thoughtfulness and attention to detail.”

“Comprehensive, varied, nuanced pieces, with unforgettable characters that lay out plainly COVID’s impact on students, teachers, administrators.”

Talia Richman
The Dallas Morning News

Talia Richman: Beat Reporting

Comments from the Judges

“This entry shows a good range of work, from deeply reported student-level stories about the role of gifted programs, to politics stories about book banning to hard-hitting investigative work. This package is a strong entry for a beat-reporting context because of the variety of stories told well. The writing is clear, the characters are compelling and the story angles are creative. The reporter also includes a strong focus on solutions, making the stories more useful for readers.”

“Talia’s work covers a wide variety of topics, and each story was well-sourced.”