EWA Announces Winners of National Reporting Contest
(March 12, 2013) The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 National Awards for Education Reporting, recognizing dogged journalism, accomplished storytelling, and insightful analysis produced by print, radio and online media outlets across the country.
The 62 winning entries, chosen from among hundreds of submissions, came from newsrooms as small as nursery schools and as large as college dormitories. First-place winners are eligible for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, whose winner will be announced on May 4th during EWA’s 66th National Seminar. All winners will be honored at the event, which is being held from May 2-4 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The 2012 National Awards winners stood out for many reasons. Some yielded immediate impact, such as resignations of top officials, while others laid bare misconduct, including misuse of public funds. A considerable number of winning entries stemmed from collaborations among diverse outlets that pooled their talents in print, video and audio storytelling to produce compelling, multidimensional coverage. Some entries were noteworthy because of their creative use of data. One award-winner mined data to uncover striking disparities in graduation rates among traditional and alternative high schools, for example. Another crunched numbers to show how many 9th graders in a large urban school went on to punch their golden ticket to college.
The reporting contest, an EWA tradition stretching back decades, included several new categories this year. Four categories were created to reflect the expanding number of education-only news outlets. Two others were introduced to honor the valuable policy analysis and other content produced by education organizations, such as think tanks and advocacy groups.
Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Tamara M. Cooke Henry, Ph.D., of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. In all, 25 judges reviewed hundreds of submissions, many coming within a hair's breadth of winning one of the three prizes possible in each category.
The judges are: Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle; James Bettinger, Stanford University; Daarel Burnette II, The Atlanta Journal Constitution; Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post; Martha Dalton, WABE News; Eric Eyre, The Charleston Gazette; Carole Feldman, The Associated Press; Bill Graves, The Oregonian; Richard Green, The Hartford Courant; Cathy Grimes, Daily Press; Danyell Irby, National Public Radio; Cindy Johnston, National Public Radio; Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed; Julia McEvoy, KQED; Nancy Mitchell, formerly of EdNews Colorado and now at the Colorado Department of Education; Dave Murray, MLive; Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education; Monica Rhor, formerly of The Associated Press and Houston Chronicle and now a journalism instructor; Erin Richards, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Jennifer Ruark, The Chronicle of Higher Education; Scott Smallwood, The Chronicle of Higher Education; Miles Smith, WJLA; ; Michael Squires, The Arizona Republic; and Dorie Turner, formerly of the Associated Press and now at the Georgia Department of Education.
No judge reviewed an entry submitted by his or her current or recent employer.
The winning entries can be viewed at EWA’s EdMedia Commons.
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