First Prize

This American Life: Harper High School

Source: WBEZ

487: Harper High School, Part One

488: Harper High School, Part Two

Judges’ Comments

“This is one of the most compelling broadcast education stories I’ve heard. It can be challenging to focus on one place (a school in this case) and make it relevant to a wider audience, but this story accomplishes that. Dedicating a team of reporters to cover the story had a powerful effect. As much ground as these reporters were able to cover, they still left the listener wanting to know more.”

 “I heard this story when it was initially played early last year. Listening back to the program reminded me of how brilliant the storytelling is here. A great story wasn’t a given just because This American Life committed 3 reporters and 5 months of their time. It certainly helped, but really it is how these stories are written, crafted and edited that make the difference. … [T]his is just journalism at its finest.”