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.
Resources for Dart Award Winner, PTSD & Mental Health
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.
This searing, intimate feature tells the story of Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, the youngest survivor of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg Oregon, as she struggles against myriad challenges in the massacre’s aftermath. Judges described “A Survivor’s Story” as an “eye-opening,” “brutally honest" portrait of the intense difficulties and complexities of trauma and recovery. Originally published in the Washington Post in December, 2015.
This provocative three-part series examines the concept of moral injury, a phenomenon where combat or operational experiences transgress deeply held moral and ethical beliefs that undergird a service member’s humanity; often seen as damage to the soul. Judges praised the series for “gracefully and confidently marrying the humanity and understanding of its survivors with a gritty, powerful investigation that breaks new ground.” Originally published in the Huffington Post in March 2014.
The U.S. military is sending troops with serious psychological problems into Iraq and is keeping soldiers in combat even after superiors have been alerted to suicide warnings and other signs of mental illness, a Courant investigation has found. Originally published in the Hartford Courant, May 2006.
A two-part series from The Baltimore Sun on the lives of six women serially victimized by one man's extremes of physical and psychological abuse.
A compelling series on the suspicious death of an 18-year-old man arrested and placed in the care of a mental institution, the cover-up that followed, and the family's on-going grief and confusion. Originally published in The Roanoke Times in June, 1999.
For its unsentimental focus on Emmett Jackson's recovery from the arson death of his wife and child and his own extensive injuries. Originally published in the Austin American-Statesman in two parts on Sept. 4, 1994, and Sept. 5, 1994.
Debra McKinney documents the spirited growth of three women as they transcend the tragedies of incest that haunted their lives. Originally published in the Anchorage Daily News on June 6, 1993.