2022 Visual Storytelling (Larger Newsroom) Winners

Kassie Bracken, Mark Boyer, Jacey Fortin, Rebecca Lieberman & Noah Throop, The New York Times

About the Winners:

The huge battle over critical race theory in classrooms got a lot of attention. But as reporters and editors discussed coverage, one important perspective seemed to be missing: Teachers. What were they teaching?

The New York Times team wanted to get beyond the partisanship, the rhetoric, the yelling. And they wanted more than quotes or descriptions on a printed page. Their goal became to bring teachers to life — to really see and hear them. That started a long reporting process, which meant finding teachers with interesting and different perspectives, many in states where critical race theory had been hotly contested, like Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Indiana.

They went to teachers’ classrooms to video them. And the reporting team asked in granular detail about their approach on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and Reconstruction, on their use of original documents, and on their approaches to contemporary subjects like the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Comments From the Judges:

“This project effectively shares micro-stories of history teacher perspectives from across the country. By combining specific questions related to potentially controversial subjects in history, it allowed viewers to see the nature of how these subjects are discussed and the lack of knowledge external advocates for anti-CRT laws have towards what is actually being taught in schools. An overall effective and stirring piece with well-executed visuals and cinematographic technical achievement (sound and visual quality was excellent). I especially admired the framing of shots within the classrooms ”

“Wow, great little video opening. Good geographic variety of sources. Diversity is so much more than race. Nice. You really tackled a sensitive and complex issue and brought in a variety of viewpoints that simplified it and made it more clear. This story really made me think. All good stories should do that.