First Prize

Josh Mitchell
The Wall Street Journal

General News Outlet
BEAT REPORTING

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Mitchell unpacked the various factors driving the surge in student borrowing and showed the impact it is having on consumers, taxpayers, and the macroeconomy.

Comments from the Judges:

“Josh Mitchell is to be commended for the scope and balance of his reporting on student debt and the perhaps unintended consequences of federal student aid policies. He does a masterful job of laying out the snowballing impact the crisis is making on taxpayers — and the Department of Education’s shocking inability to analyze the data that would illuminate the submerged part of the iceberg. Masterful reporting and clean, clear writing.”

“Josh Mitchell’s reporting package on student loans is unique, comprehensive, illuminating and a must-read for policy makers, prospective and current college students, and their parents. Mitchell takes a complicated issue and perfectly weaves together data, personal stories and trenchant analysis to help the reader grasp the importance of this topic. He masterfully combines data sets, research and interviews and gives the reader a 360-degree view of student loans, both the promise and the perils. … Mitchell’s reporting shows wide versatility, and he dug up some unique nuggets, including the piece on the ‘doctors’ loophole’ in the debt-forgiveness law.”