This comprehensive series offers a ground-level view of the effects of violence on children and their families, showing not only the psychological toll on young souls, but also the success stories, and scarce resources that are available to help. Judges described this package as a "brilliant body of work" comprised of a "thoughtful mix of beautifully executed stories." They recognized the "tremendous thought and planning" that went into the project, and the "incredible level of trust" the reporters built with the community after initially encountering much skepticism. Originally published by NOLA.com | The Times Picayune in June 2018.
Click here for entry guidelines. The entry deadline for the 2019 Dart Awards has passed.
Since 1994, the Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma have recognized exemplary journalism on the impact of violence, crime and other traumatic events on individuals, families and communities. Spotlighting the experiences of victims and survivors, Dart Award winners make significant contributions to public understanding of trauma-related issues. Past winners include some of the world’s best-known news organizations as well as small community outlets.
The Dart Awards are open to newspaper, magazine, online, radio, television, video and multimedia journalism from North America that goes beyond the ordinary in reporting on trauma. Two $5,000 cash prizes are awarded each year.
2019 First Round Judges: Elizabeth Aguilera, health and welfare reporter, CALmatters; Laila Al-Arian, Executive Producer, Fault Lines, Al Jazeera English; Gina Barton, investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Samantha Broun, radio and multimedia producer, Managing Editor, Transom.org and 2017 Dart Award winner; Lisa Cohen, filmmaker and Director of Professional Prizes, Columbia Journalism School; Kerry Donahue, Director of Training, PRX.org; Marguerite Holloway, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Science & Environmental Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Maggie Jones, contributing writer, New York Times Magazine; Azmat Khan, contributing writer, New York Times Magazine, James Madison Visiting Professor, Columbia Journalism School and 2018 Dart Award honorable mention; Peter Klein, Director, International Reporting Project; Jina Moore, freelance journalist; and Christopher Sherman, correspondent, Associated Press and 2016 Dart Award winner.
2019 Final Judges: Ann Cooper, Professor Emerita, Columbia Journalism School; Melissa del Bosque, investigative reporter, ProPublica and 2015 Dart Award winner; John Woodrow Cox, enterprise reporter, The Washington Post and 2018 Dart Award winner; June Cross, documentary filmmaker and Professor, Columbia Journalism School; Ashley Gilbertson, photographer and writer; and Debra Kaysen, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, and President-elect, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Past judges include: Ana Arana, Director, Fundacion MEPI and 2013 Dart Award winner; John Barth, Managing Director, Public Radio Exchange (PRX); David Boardman, Dean, Temple University School of Media and Communication; Jelani Cobb, Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Lori Grinker, Documentary Photographer; Kenny Irby, Senior Faculty, The Poynter Institute; Miranda Olff Ph.D., Professor, AMC/University of Amsterdam and past president, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS); Sacha Pfeiffer, Investigative Reporter, The Boston Globe; Glenn Smith, Projects Editor, The Post and Courier and 2015 Dart Award winner; Sarah Stillman, Staff Writer, The New Yorker; and Alisa Solomon, Professor, Columbia Journalism School
Past Award Winners
- April 8, 2019 by Kate Wells, Lindsey Smith, Jennifer Guerra, Sarah Hulett, Alison MacAdam, Juliet Hinely, Zoe Clark, Vincent Duffy
These two episodes of the ambitious podcast "Believed" – “The Parents” and “What Have You Done?” – focus on Larry Nassar’s victims and their families, exploring the complicated, conflicted emotions that can persist when people are victimized by a seemingly known and trusted person. Judges recognized the "enormous trust" the reporters built with everyone they interviewed, allowing the survivors and parents to “reveal their deepest regrets and vulnerabilities,” and calling the end result "intimate," "revelatory," and "profound." Originally published by Michigan Radio in January 2018.
This meticulously reported series offers a ground level, panoramic view of the devastating and profound impact of gun violence on children's lives. The results, at once harrowing and revelatory, provide a fresh and compelling look at one of the most pressing issues of our time. Judges called this package a "remarkable series spanning multiple events of violence, each examined with unflinching clarity and emotional rawness." Originally published by The Washington Post between April - December, 2017.
- April 11, 2018 by Neil Barsky, Jenny Carchman, Dawn Ostroff, David Remnick, Participant Media, Lindsey Megrue, Seth Bomse, Marley Cogan, Scott Morgan, David Jacobson
Employing the highest standards of video production, “We Are Witnesses” captures the enormity of the jail-court-prison complex, while keeping an intense focus on the individual lives affected and provoking dialogue around criminal justice reform. Judges praised its “innovative” approach to storytelling, exploring “multifaceted trauma” from “many different angles,” and “refusing cliché at every level.” The series was created by The Marshall Project in partnership with Participant Media, The New Yorker, and Condé Nast Entertainment, and ran on both The Marshall Project and The New Yorker websites.
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Past Honorable Mentions
This multimedia piece explores the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year old Inuit man in Arctic Canada, the impact of his death on his community, and his father’s subsequent fight for mental health services, coroner’s services, and justice system services for Inuit in the North. Judges described “Death in the Arctic” as a "truly impressive reporting feat" offering "rare insight into an isolated, chronically ignored community." They underscored the "intimacy" and "narrative force" of the project, calling it "profoundly moving and affecting," and the photography "stunning." Originally published by Radio Canada International – Eye on the Arctic on December 14, 2018.
- April 8, 2019 by Brandon Stahl, Jennifer Bjorhus, MaryJo Webster, Renée Jones Schneider, Abby Simons, Dave Hage
This deeply reported multimedia project explores the failure of Minnesota’s policing and courts to serve rape and sexual assault victims. Judges called “Denied Justice” an “exceedingly thorough investigative reporting triumph" that makes an "enormous contribution to public service." They commended the series' "incredible depth" that touched everything from "decisions around anonymity to the scope of interviews, from expert sourcing to the wide range of angles explored." Originally published by the Star Tribune between July and December, 2018.
An exhaustive investigation into U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, and the experiences of civilian survivors. Judges called “The Uncounted” “accountability journalism at its best,” “impeccably researched,” “extensively sourced,” and “deeply moving.” Originally published in The New York Times Magazine in November, 2017.
A deeply humane and riveting piece that follows the Marin family through the arrest and deportation of their mother. Judges called “Losing Gloria” a “beautifully written,” “crucial story” that shows how people “metabolize the trauma of a singular moment.” Originally published in The California Sunday Magazine in June, 2017.
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More from the Dart Awards
- April 8, 2019
This year's Dart Awards went to Michigan Radio for two episodes of "Believed" and to NOLA.com | The Times Picayune for "The Children of Central City." Honorable mentions went to Radio Canada International – Eye on the Arctic and to The Star Tribune. Please join us on May 1 for the Awards ceremony and winners' roundtable.
- April 8, 2019
This year's Dart Awards went to Michigan Radio for "Believed" and to The Times Picayune | NOLA.com for "The Children of Central City." Honorable mentions went to Radio Canada International – Eye on the Arctic and to The Star Tribune.
The following nine pieces were finalists: The Atavist, “Trigger Effect”; Frontline Podcast, “The Weight of Dust”; Guardian US and The Eagle Eye, “Parkland School Shooting”; HBO, “We are Not Done Yet”; WNYC / New York Public Radio, “Caught” Episode 8 "I Want Someone to Love me Even for a Second"; New York Times The Daily, “Lost in the Storm”; Tampa Bay Times, “Gang Raped at 17. Therapy at 65”; Texas Tribune, “Families Divided”; Univision, “Nightmares of Selective Amnesia”
- At Columbia Journalism School in New York City, the Dart Center will host a reception, award ceremony and winners’ roundtable featuring the 2019 Dart Award winners. The roundtable will illuminate the questions of craft, ethics and storytelling in their work, and explore innovative best practices in hard-hitting, humane reporting on violence and tragedy.
- December 11, 2018
The Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma honor innovative, ethical and effective reporting of human tragedy across all media platforms. Judges will make two awards, each carrying a $5000 cash prize. The submission deadline, January 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST, has passed.
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