First Prize

Beat Reporting (Midsize Newsroom)

2020 award winner & finalists banner

Winner

Investigating the Impact of Coronavirus On Texas’ Public Schools

Aliyya Swaby
The Texas Tribune

2020-awards-bear-reporting-midsize-winner-screenshot

About the Entry

Aliyya Swaby uses compelling anecdotes and meticulous research to show how various education policies have contributed to struggles for students across the state. The story of public education in Texas varies widely depending on where you live. Swaby told stories responsibly, built sources despite the challenges of restricted travel due to the pandemic. The result is a portfolio of stories that overcome logistical hurdles and don’t shy away from telling hard truths.

Comments from the Judges

“Beautifully written, well-sourced stories that show considerable ambition. The reporter got inside classrooms and into homes — during a pandemic! — to tell the stories of students and teachers scrambling when the people in power failed to provide guidance on how to operate during a public health crisis.”

“It’s hard not to be infuriated as you read what a mess virtual learning has been and how it’s been handled in Texas, from school districts without enough laptops for students and families without money feeling like they have no options at all. The despair of the teacher sitting alone in the classroom struggling to engage his students in their AP history class was heartbreaking.”

Finalists

Indiana Beat Reporting​
Stephanie Wang
Chalkbeat

Comment from the judges: “I really appreciated the reporter’s ability to get inside the schools and classrooms – that’s been a hard task this past year, but when you read the stories you realize what a difference that makes.

Ricardo Cano’s Beat Reporting
Ricardo Cano
CalMatters

Comment from the judges: “Fantastic. Stories told through the eyes of students, parents, and teachers. Writing is clear and crisp. Story selection shows ambition and with an eye on how policy and schools touch the lives of ordinary people.”

SEE THE FULL LIST OF 2020 CATEGORY FINALISTS