2022 Investigative & Public Service Reporting (Midsize Newsroom) Finalists

See finalists listed in alphabetical order.

Lily Altavena & Dave Boucher

Detroit Free Press 

Trapped and Traumatized

Comments From the Judges:

“True accountability journalism, told with a deft human touch. The Free Press combined data with human-interest anecdotes to tell a compelling story about how overzealous use of restraining tactics can do lasting harm, centering the perspective of the affected kids themselves. Commendably, the reporters evaluated the (seemingly minimal) efficacy of highly touted 2016 reforms, and called out the legislators who refused to support them, identifying obvious shortcomings in the legislation that cry out for improvement.”

“Powerful example of returning to something and following up to see if anything actually changed. I applaud the centering of student voices — too often children, especially children with disabilities, are spoken for by adults and parents.”

Mandy McLaren

The Courier Journal

Between the Lines

Comments From the Judges:

“Extraordinarily effective presentation, highlighted by the clickable glossary of unfamiliar terms. Admirable depth and diversity of sourcing that puts kids front-and-center. This package brought a new-and-different perspective that dramatically brought home the continuing human toll of clinging to proven ineffective teaching methods.”

“Tremendous job holding decision-makers to account for the education of the state’s children. It’s easy to lose the children behind the percentages, but McLaren’s work centered the kids and refused to accept the idea that reading is beyond any child’s capacity to learn, if only they are given the right tools.”

Leslie Postal & Annie Martin

Orlando Sentinel

Unequal Futures

Comments From the Judges:

“This is creative and ambitious work of data journalism by marrying up two seemingly unconnected databases — lottery sales and scholarship awards — to dramatize the way Florida’s lower-income families are subsidizing free college for its highest-income families. Postal and Martin offer a compelling counter-narrative to the prevailing PR message that Florida’s universities are rocketing to the top of the national rankings, bringing us the voices of those the rocketship has left behind.”

“The lottery piece of this package was really well reported. The reverse Robin Hood perversity of the scholarship funding was stark. Thorough analysis and reporting that asks and answers the question of who Florida’s public colleges and scholarships are for, and the inequity baked into the system.”