First Prize

Audio Storytelling (Larger Newsroom)

2020 award winner & finalists banner


Two Schools in Marin County

Marianne McCune, Kai Wright, Christopher Werth and Karen Frillmann 
WNYC Studios

Screenshot of The United States of Anxiety web page

About the Winner

This United States of Anxiety podcast told a story about the Sausalito Marin City School District and its complicated present and past — going all the way back to the 14th amendment — in audio. Instead of following one or two families, it brought the voices of many people, putting listeners into the shoes of many members of a fractured community

Comments from the Judges

“A compelling story, painful to listen to, this piece emphasizes that silence around diversity issues is a sign of power. This piece shows that white students hold the cards, they have the choice, the freedom to choose where to send their kids, even when the school system is supposedly creating new opportunities for nonwhites.”

“REALLY well-crafted piece … great tape, great voices throughout, and good writing makes this one of the best pieces I’ve heard about the incredibly complex issue of school segregation. The reporter’s leg work was impressive and it showed.”


NPR’s 2020 College Road Trip
Elissa Nadworny and Lauren Migaki

Comment from the judges: “A series of relatively short (not podcast-length) features that tell interesting stories with lots of good sound. The reporter does a great job of walking listeners through the campuses she visits and explaining what they’re hearing.”

Starting College Behind
Kate McGee and Kate Grossman 
WBEZ Chicago

Comment from the judges: “This story was one of the first I’ve encountered going deep with a student on their experience of developmental education. Not only did Kate develop a rapport with Luis, she also provided listeners with the context — via data and the professors — to understand it.”