2021 Features (Midsize Newsroom) Finalists

See all finalists below

Trisha Powell Crain & Amanda Khorramabadi
AL.com, Reckon South

Alabama High Flyers

Comments from the Judges:

“Love the solutions lens. I’m so tired of being depressed. Excellent work doing a classic school-improvement story in the middle of COVID and making it relevant.”

“Love the integration of data and stories, and the historical depth. Always good to look at what works and this is a fine example of that approach–good data clearly presented, strong interviews with teachers and school leaders.”

Rita Omokha
The Hechinger Report, Vanity Fair

The Orphans Covid Left Behind

Comments from the Judges:

“This is really lovely storytelling. It doesn’t call attention to itself, it’s just natural, bringing you into the family and its individual members. I loved these kids and the writer makes you feel like you’re right there with them. It’s poignant and above all it makes the impact of covid come alive.”

“Great quotes. Excellent photos. The approach, the rawness, the heart-aching beauty captured by Rita Omokha as she documented the tiniest of details while this family tried to move on gave incredible insight into the fabric of what it meant to be a COVID orphan. The tears wouldn’t stop. I found this story captivating. This was a touching and immersive narrative sprinkled with just the right amount of data to put the problem in context.”

Patrick Wall, Stephanie Wang, Sarah Darville, Kalyn Belsha, Alex Zimmerman, Lori Higgins & Melanie Asmar

Covid Shutdowns: One Year Later

Comments from the Judges:

“Chalkbeat’s series showcased the essential stories of education during the year in COVID with compelling characters and important perspectives. This is an important document of what students and educators experienced.”

“Indiana musicals – good feature. [N]ice sense of school. [C]ool photos. Clever to get the emails at [the] beginning of [the] pandemic.”