2021 News (Small Newsroom) Finalists

See all finalists below

Rebecca Koenig & Emily Tate

How China’s New Education Policy Affects Teachers, Parents and Students Around the World

Comments from the Judges:

“China’s crackdown on private tutoring is a hugely significant story with educational and financial implications both in China and other countries, including the U.S., where thousands of tutors are based. EdSurge’s Rebecca Koenig and Emily Tate do a great job explaining this policy change and its repercussions from several different angles.”

“Very strong package of stories — both in reporting and writing — on the collapse of a tutoring lifeline for thousands of children in China. The stories were rich, detailed, informative, and lively. They captured the critical role the American tutors play in the lives of Chinese students, and the sudden downfall and separation of a service that connected both students and teachers.”

Jackie Mader, Kavitha Cardoza & Kate Rix
The Hechinger Report

The Trauma Epidemic

Comments from the Judges:

“Students’ mental health has suffered tremendously during the pandemic, and the Hechinger Report stories in this series give the issue the attention it deserves. The reporters approached the topic from many angles, and found compelling anecdotes that brought the issues to life. Overall, a strong, well-reported series on a significant and timely topic.” 

“From the 12-year-old riddled with guilt after a close friend’s suicide to the plight of overstressed parents and social workers, these stories put us right into the homes, the schools, and the lives of people wrestling with stress and crises. The stories were not just a litany of woes, but they offered solutions to the problem.” 

Neal Morton
The Hechinger Report

A Year in the Life of a Small-Town Superintendent Shows the Federal Bailout Won’t Be Enough

Comments from the Judges:

“School funding, especially during the pandemic, is a crucial if complicated topic, and Morton wrote about it deftly. And he put real human faces on the issue, most memorably the superintendent’s, revealing the drama, emotions and politics  around school funding, which elevated what could have been a dry and wonky topic.”

“A timely and relevant piece about the fiscal struggles of a small-town school district, the reliance on federal and local funding, and the crushing needs made all the more difficult as a result of the pandemic. This story demonstrated the reporter’s doggedness … It also demonstrated his expertise on the issue. He helped to bring readers up close to a complicated subject.”