Covering civil unrest can be frightening and dangerous. A crowd may turn violent with little warning and police can target journalists or mistake them for rabble rousers. It’s particularly challenging to maintain social distancing during a riot, so take extra precautions to stay on the edge for quick exit. Bring extra masks, gloves and sanitizer for gear.
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Editor’s Note: Edward Lawrence has been covering the coronavirus story on the ground in China since January, including a trip onto China’s frontline: Hubei province on lockdown. Here, he has outlined some of his thoughts on the challenges of reporting amid the pandemic, and the precautions that he and his team have been taking.
This year's Dart Awards went to The Plain Dealer for "Case Closed" and to The New York Times Magazine for "How Does the Human Soul Survive Atrocity?" Honorable mentions went to The Missoulian, NPR News, and ProPublica Illinois in collaboration with the Chicago Tribune,
An investigation into the violation of a decades-old Illinois law meant to protect students from being physically restrained or locked away in stark rooms as punishment. Judges described “The Quiet Rooms” as “a tour de force of investigative reporting and accountability journalism.” They called it "exhaustive," "fair," and "outstanding from all angles," applauding the “use of testimony from the protagonists in seclusion" and "situating the issue in both a state context and broader national context." Originally published by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune between November and December 2019.
A hard-hitting investigation into residential schools for at-risk children across the state of Montana. Judges commended the “depth of reporting” and “incredible commitment on the part of a small newsroom to revisit a persistent problem concerning the on-going, unrelenting abuse of children despite claims that it had been addressed years earlier." Originally published by the Missoulian between January and November 2019.
This story focuses on psychologist Jan Kizilhan, a German of Kurdish Yazidi origin, and recent graduates of his program in Psychotraumatology at the University of Duhok, Iraq who are working with Yazidi children returning to their families after years in ISIS captivity. Judges called the piece “explanatory reporting at its best,” and praised the “equally matched excellence of the writing and photography.” They noted the “lean narrative style that builds momentum with deft pacing and layering of personal and contextual details,” and the “use of different visual techniques to convey in a metaphorical way the emotional inner turmoil of the children.” Originally published in the New York Times Magazine on October 31, 2019.