2024 Dart Award Winners Announced

The 2024 Dart Awards went to The Boston Globe for "Nightmare in Mission Hill: The Untold Story of the Charles and Carol Stuart Shooting" and to The Marshall Project for "The Mercy Workers." Honorable Mentions went to The New Yorker and The New York Times.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma: The Boston Globe and The Marshall Project. Honorable Mentions went to The New Yorker and The New York Times. 

The Dart Awards, now in their 30th year, 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. By tradition the Dart Award is a team prize, recognizing that in-depth coverage of trauma requires an exceptional commitment by the entire news organization.

"The 2024 Dart Awards honor the range and depth of trauma-aware journalism, illuminating the lives of individuals and communities too often invisible in the news agenda with empathy, journalistic rigor and compelling, nuanced narrative," said Bruce Shapiro, the Dart Center’s executive director. "This year, it seems especially appropriate that we announce the Dart Awards on World Press Freedom Day: with journalists so often demonized and facing sustained attack, these compassionate, rigorous stories show the power of press freedom to advance empathy, accountability and social connection in the face of violence and tragedy."

The honorees will be recognized on the evening of Thursday, October 17, 2024 at Columbia Journalism School in New York City.

The Boston Globe received the Dart Award for "Nightmare in Mission Hill: The Untold Story of the Charles and Carol Stuart Shooting" (Adrian Walker, associate editor and columnist; Evan Allen, reporter; Elizabeth Koh, reporter; Andrew Ryan, reporter; Brendan McCarthy, project editor; Kristin Nelson, senior audio producer) which tells the story of the 1989 murder of Carol Stuart, and the people caught up in it who never managed to get free.

The judging panel described the series as “a gripping, beautifully written and deeply-reported investigation” that “shows readers how the emotional scars of a racist lie – and the people and systems that allowed it to fester, infect a city and destroy lives – are easily opened and slow to heal.” They praised the reporting team for “chronicling the experiences of the victims with grace and precision,” and for their “nuance and sensitivity” in spotlighting “a historical trauma that reverberated through a community for decades.” They commended the photographs and multimedia elements for “tying the past to the present” and “bringing the series to life,” and applauded The Boston Globe’s leadership for a “massive undertaking” that elucidated “internal failures, not just of the police department, but of the newspaper itself.”

The Marshall Project received the Dart Award for "The Mercy Workers." (Maurice Chammah, reporter; Akiba Solomon, editor; Jackie Roche, illustrator; Celina Fang, multimedia editor; Raghuram Vadarevu and Meredith Rizzo, editors, illustrated version; Agnes Lopez and Octavio Jones, photographers; Melanie Garcia, collage artist; Katie Park, developer; Mara Corbett, production coordinator; Ghazala Irshad, copy editor; and Taylor Vorburger, videographer.) The story offers a rare look into one case taken up by a little-known group of mitigation specialists who worked for three decades to save the lives of death-penalty defendants by documenting their childhood traumas.

The judging panel described the story as a “powerful, nuanced and sensitive exploration of an aspect of the criminal justice system that is often overlooked.” They praised Maurice Chammah for “humanizing James Bernard Belcher without exonerating him,” “demanding that readers reach their own conclusion about this man's life, his mercy worker and the larger system.” They called “the lengths to which Sara Baldwin went on Belcher's behalf, and by extent Chammah went in following her, stunning.” They described the writing as “well-paced and meditative, allowing readers to pause and think through the difficulties of this work,” and said “given all of the layers of trauma, the fact that the piece moves so elegantly without toppling over with grief is a miracle.”

Each winning team will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Honorable mentions went to The New York Times and The New Yorker. 

The New York Times received an honorable mention for "Alone and Exploited" (Hannah Dreier, reporter; and Kirsten Danis, editor), which exposes the astonishing resurgence of child labor in the United States, and reveals the profound failures that have led to this shadow workforce. Judges described the five-part series as “brilliant” “enraging,” “public service journalism at its finest," “exposing widespread use and abuse of a category of workers that is not supposed to exist.” They praised Hannah Dreier’s “careful approach to the story” and her “incredibly thorough and broad reporting – including interviewing child laborers in all 50 states.” They said “the intention to show survivors in their strength and pride is reflected in the writing as well as the photography,” and praised the series for “not asking for pity for these kids but rather, understanding, and for demanding that our communities and our leaders do better.” They commended the project’s “emphasis on accountability” and called its impact “immediate,” noting that it “prompted action from government and from industry.”

The New Yorker received an honorable mention for "The Aftermath" (Jennifer Gonnerman, staff writer), which tells the story of Kristen Kinkel as she reckons with the crimes committed by her brother Kip. Twenty-five years ago, he killed their parents and opened fire at their high school. Judges described the piece as a “thoughtful, compelling and deeply empathetic window into what has become an all too common issue,” “bravely side-stepping the expected narrative” and “challenging readers to look beyond simple caricatures of a mass shooter.” They said “the story's power lies in its layers” noting that “no one is two-dimensional, and neither is the crime itself.” They praised Jennifer Gonnerman for telling “a complicated and fraught story with care and grace” and “painting a picture rooted in the context and complexity of being human.” They called the story “even-handed and non-judgmental,” “diving clear-eyed into so many of the questions that people grapple with after traumatic experiences” and “broadening a reader's understanding of the reverberations beyond victim and perpetrator.” They called it “haunting”, “illuminating” and “masterfully told.”

The Dart Awards were launched in 1994 with pioneering support from the Dart Foundation. Today the Dart Foundation continues to sustain the Dart Awards as the first endowed program of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma as well as through ongoing operating support. The Dart Awards are a team prize, recognizing that presenting in-depth journalism on these challenging subjects requires a newsroom-wide commitment. The Dart Awards consider entries from across the media spectrum, including newspaper, radio, online, multimedia, film and video.


Business Insider, "The Predators' Playground"; Guardian US, "Faced with a violent killing, a family chooses forgiveness over prison"; NBC News Digital, "Lost Rites"; NPR's Embedded, "Buffalo Extreme"; The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Forever Young"; ProPublica, New York Magazine, Wondery, "How Columbia Ignored Women, Undermined Prosecutors and Protected a Predator For More Than 20 Years"; Serial Productions and The New York Times, "The Retrievals"; The Texas Tribune, "She was told her twin sons wouldn’t survive. Texas law made her give birth anyway."

The jury combines journalists, educators and mental health professionals.

Final Round Judges: 

Lisa Armstrong, journalist and Professor, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; Carlos Gonzalez, Staff Photographer, Minneapolis Star Tribune and 2021 Dart Award Honorable Mention; Sacha Pfeiffer, Correspondent, NPR’s Investigations Team; Raquel Rutledge, Investigations Editor, The Examination and 2023 Dart Award Winner; Soraya Seedat, President-Elect, International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies.

First Round Judges

Melissa Bailey, freelance journalist; Adriana Gallardo, engagement reporter, ProPublica and 2021 Dart Award Winner; Rachel de Leon, producer and reporter, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Janelle Nanos, enterprise reporter, The Boston Globe and 2023 Dart Award Winner; Meg Martin, Knight-Wallace fellow, University of Michigan; Naseem Miller, senior health editor, Harvard Kennedy School’s Journalist's Resource; Francine Orr, staff photojournalist, Los Angeles Times and 2022 Dart Award Winner; Maya Rao, journalist, Minneapolis Star Tribune and 2021 Dart Award Winner; Jeremy Redmon, enterprise reporter, Atlanta Journal Constitution; Dave Seglins, investigative journalist, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Meg Shutzer, journalist/documentary filmmaker and 2023 Dart Award Honorable Mention; Andrea Simakis, Director of Media Relations, Oberlin College and Conservatory and 2020 Dart Award winner; Brandon Stahl, journalist and 2019 Dart Award Honorable Mention; Saidu Tejan Thomas Jr, former podcast host and 2021 Dart Award Winner; Almudena Toral, executive producer for video and film, ProPublica and 2021 Dart Award Honorable Mention; Hana Wuerker, documentary filmmaker and editor.