This project focuses on 29 Alaskan women and men of different races and socio-economic backgrounds seeking to inspire change in Alaska’s justice system, and to de-stigmatize being a survivor of sexual violence. The judges called “Unheard” “exceptional, original journalism” that “puts the voices of survivors at the forefront” and “reimagines how trauma-aware, culturally-sensitive, collaborative reporting can be done.” They applauded the project’s “emphasis on the heterogeneity of sexual violence and trauma” and called the reporting approach “sensitive by design.” Originally published by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica on June 1, 2020.
Resources for Dart Award Winner
This episode of the Resistance podcast tells the story of a nearly six-hour standoff between Derrick Ingram and the NYPD, and explores the harrowing relationship between the police and protestors, and the impact of trauma on those fighting for racial justice and police reform. The judging panel described the piece as "brilliant and revelatory storytelling,” “at turns riveting, enraging, funny, and deeply moving.” They called it “spectacular,” and underscored the way it “depicts a kind of trauma -- menacing situations of indignity and harassment -- that far too many people of color in this country are familiar with.” Originally published by Gimlet and Spotify on October 21, 2020.
Through the stories of 60 ordinary people across 20 countries, “Lives Lost” captures the scale of the covid-19 crisis, the impact of each death on those left behind, and how trauma has been playing out across communities, countries, and cultures. The judges described "Lives Lost” as an “astonishingly powerful,” “multi-layered” package that “reveals the devastating, global-scale loss that the virus has had on humanity.” The judges also commended AP for its “tremendous institutional commitment” to a “beautiful project of human portraits despite the onslaught of daily news." Originally published by the Associated Press on September 30, 2020.
This multipart series focuses on rape survivor Sandi Fedor’s efforts to track down the serial rapist who attacked her as she discovers that her trust has been betrayed by the indifference of an historically under-resourced Cleveland Police sex crimes unit. Judges praised the team for “successfully intertwining a visceral survivor’s point of view narrative with traditional investigative reporting.” They said the series “meticulously documents with photographs, video clips, audio recordings, public records, police documents, and prior investigative reporting” a “pattern of systemic police department failure dating back decades” which “enabled serial offenders like the man who attacked Sandi Fedor to evade justice for years.” Originally published in the Plain Dealer on September 29, 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.
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.
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.
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.
This intensely personal documentary tells the story of a violent crime committed against reporter Samantha Broun’s mother, its far-reaching impact on her family and decades of reverberations on politics and the criminal justice system. Judges described “A Life Sentence” as a “deeply honest,” “brave” and personal story “elevated to great journalism.” Originally published by Transom.org in March, 2016.