2018 Dart Award Winners Announced

This year's Dart Awards went to The Marshall Project for "We Are Witnesses" and to The Washington Post for its series on gun violence seen through the eyes of children. Honorable mentions went to The California Sunday Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Please join us on May 3 for the Awards ceremony and winners' roundtable.

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma: The Marshall Project and The Washington Post. Honorable Mentions went to The California Sunday Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Please join us on May 3 at Columbia Journalism School for the Awards ceremony and winners' roundtable. 

The annual Dart Awards recognize outstanding reporting in all media that portrays traumatic events and their aftermath with accuracy, insight and sensitivity while illuminating the effects of violence and tragedy on victims’ lives.

The Marshall Project received the Dart Award for “We Are Witnesses,” an ambitious online video and multimedia project that portrays the U.S. criminal justice ecosystem from a wide range of perspectives and experiences. (Project team: Neil Barsky, creator and executive producer; Jenny Carchman, director and producer; Dawn Ostroff, David Remnick, Participant Media, executive producers; Lindsey Megrue, producer; Seth Bomse, editor; Marley Cogan, associate producer; Scott Morgan, composer; David Jacobson, director of photography.) 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. 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 called “We Are Witnesses” “simply elegant, impactful journalism.” They praised its “innovative” approach to storytelling, exploring “multifaceted trauma” from “many different angles,” and “refusing cliché at every level.” They applauded the team for “taking the act of testimony, which is so crucial for people affected by trauma, and transforming it into public knowledge through journalism.”

The Washington Post received the Dart Award for its series on gun violence seen through the eyes of children. (Project team: John Woodrow Cox, reporter; Lynda Robinson, editor; Ricky Carioti, photographer.) 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 The Washington Post package a "remarkable series spanning multiple events of violence, each examined with unflinching clarity and emotional rawness." They called Cox’s writing and reporting “exceptionally vivid” and “textured,” yet also “restrained.” They applauded his “great sensitivity” in handling child subjects, and his “keen ability” to earn the trust of parents and their children without being “exploitative.” Judges called Carioti’s photographs "stunning,” and commented on the series’ "smart layout and design," which contributed to its success in “illuminating the breadth and depth of the impact of gun violence on children, families, and communities.”

Honorable mentions went to The California Sunday Magazine for “Losing Gloria” (Project team: Lizzie Presser, reporter; Diana Markosian, photographer; Kit Rachlis, senior editor, The California Sunday Magazine; Sarah Blustain, deputy editor, The Investigative Fund; Joy Shan, assistant editor, The California Sunday Magazine.); and The New York Times Magazine for “The Uncounted” (Project team: Azmat Khan, reporter; Anand Gopal, reporter; Luke Mitchell, editor.)

The California Sunday Magazine received an honorable mention for “Losing Gloria,” 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.”

The New York Times Magazine received an honorable mention for “The Uncounted,” 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.”

The 2018 winners and honorable mention will be recognized at a public ceremony and winners' roundtable on May 3 at 5:30pm at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The event is free and open to the public.


Harpers / The Investigative Fund, "Ghost Nation"; Houston Chronicle, "Alive Inside"; The New York Times Magazine with The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, "The Boys from Baga"; NPR News, "Our Hearts Are Dead"; Reveal and New Hampshire Public Radio, "Heroin Diaries"; and Star Tribune, "Left to Suffer"

The jury combines journalists, educators and mental health professionals.

Final Judges:

Erin Alberty, Reporter, The Salt Lake Tribune and 2017 Dart Award winner; Melissa del Bosque, investigative reporter and 2015 Dart Award winner; Jelani Cobb, Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Kerry Donahue, Director of Training, PRX.org; Patrick Farrell, Staff Photographer, Miami Herald; and Julian D. Ford, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., Professor of Psychiatry and Law, University of Connecticut, and President-elect, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

First Round Judges:

Issac J. Bailey, writer; Jessica Benko, writer and radio producer; Lisa Cohen, filmmaker and Director of Professional Prizes, Columbia Journalism School; Tom Gorman, former Executive Editor, Las Vegas Sun; Sally Herships, Director of Radio Program, Columbia Journalism School; Abigail Jones, writer/ author; Tara McKelvey, White House Reporter, BBC News; Finbarr O’Reilly, photographer and writer / author; Shoshana Walter, Reporter, Reveal, Center for Investigative Reporting; and David Wood, Military Reporter, Huffington Post, author and 2015 Dart Award winner.