2022 Beat Reporting (Small Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Becky Z. Dernbach

Sahan Journal

Education in Minnesota’s Immigrant Communities and Communities of Color

Comments From the Judges:

“I really liked the story on the Minnesota teacher of the year who decided to leave the classroom. It was full of details about this one extraordinary teacher’s struggles — yet also wove in what has become national debates (and fierce arguments) about how racism is broached in public schools. A compelling read. The story about Eid becoming a school holiday was also well done, with good quotes and examples from students and educators.”

“I am impressed by this reporter’s work on an interesting beat–the impact and aftermath of the pandemic, teacher shortages and related issues on immigrant communities and communities of color. A great array of underrepresented sources and stories. The writing is at a similar level to some of the most accomplished journalists in this category, too. Impressive work.” 

Jon Marcus

The Hechinger Report

Jon Marcus Covers Higher Education

Comments From the Judges:

“The stories on higher ed losing its shine and the struggles of rural students who want to go to college (and the colleges that serve them) were both really interesting, highlighting issues I hadn’t read much about in other publications. I liked that both were grounded in interviews with students, counselors, professors — all those impacted by the trends.”

“I liked this batch of stories for showing the reporter’s expertise in covering the field and identifying (and synthesizing) important themes. I also very much like the mix of sources, from all the data to university leaders to students and guidance counselors all across the country. We also don’t see enough coverage of rural higher ed institutions.” 

Emily Tate Sullivan


What Side Hustle Culture Reveals About Teacher Pay in America

Comments From the Judges:

“The first entry was really eye-opening, with such great details and anecdotes from such a variety of teachers. The story plowed new ground on a problem education reporters have long heard about and did so in a way that was a compelling read, with good stats backing up really powerful narratives from those teaching in our classrooms — and also waiting tables, driving Ubers, etc. Really well done. Just a great example of peeling back the curtain on an issue that has been long overlooked.”

“A great, multi-faceted look into an important topic. The reporter grounded the stories in teachers’ stories and didn’t stop.”