Judges praised "They Were Sons" for painting “a full picture of the men who died and what it means to lose them,” and for showing the reader the “human shaped holes in the lives of their mothers.” They called the “powerful, first-person storytelling” “unfiltered and unvarnished,” and praised its ability to “capture pride and pain at the same time,” providing a “sense of all that lingers for families after the headlines and social media outrage passes.” They applauded Rita Omokha's “self-effacement and courage,” calling her work “a profound exercise of journalistic responsibility” and “an act of refusal of the easy reporting path.” Originally published by Vanity Fair on May 6, 2021.
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- May 5, 2022 by Rita Omokha
The judges described A Feast for Lost Souls as a “deeply moving piece” that “stirs our collective empathy” and “gives voice to the unspeakable.” They praised writer Annelise Jolley and photographer Zahara Gómez Lucini for “letting their subjects grieve and breathe in their own time” and for providing the reader with a “real connection to their pain.” They applauded the team’s “exquisite attention to even the smallest of details,” and for respectfully shining a light on these “resilient, brilliant women” who possess "so much agency in the face of such devastation.” Originally published by The Atavist on November 30, 2021.
- May 5, 2022 by Chris Benderev, Kelly McEvers, Alison MacAdam , Lisa Pollak, Rhaina Cohen, Liana Simstrom, Nicole Beemsterboer, Anya Grundmann
Judges called this episode “a masterpiece of trauma-informed journalism” that “cuts right to the heart,” helping listeners “understand the real impact of violence directed at this profession and at the democratic institution.” They praised the team’s “persistent, careful and caring touch” alongside its “straightforward, unblinking approach,” “from the reporting to the language choices to the structure to the ways it demystifies local news.” They praised the team for “creating space for the staff to have agency and nuance in the telling of their own stories,” and said, quite simply, “this story is what trauma is all about.” Originally aired as the first episode of NPR's Embedded podcast on February 18, 2021.
- March 17, 2022 by Seamus Kelters
In this excerpt from his newly-published Belfast Aurora: A Memoir of a Falls Childhood, 1971-1973 (Merrion Press), the late BBC Northern Ireland journalist and Dart Center Ochberg Fellow Seamus Kelters recalls how a 10-year-old’s fateful encounter with the reality of civil conflict shaped his reporting.
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