First Prize

Visual Storytelling (Smaller Newsroom)

2020 award winner & finalists banner


Becoming the Conductor

Robert Kinlaw


About the Entry

Robert Kinlaw, director of multimedia for EducationNC, interviewed Anthony Jackson, North Carolina’s 2020 superintendent of the year, to feature him in a video profile created from a Zoom recording. Because of the pandemic, filming would be challenging beyond that, so Kinlaw decided to create simple hand-drawn illustrations inspired by photos from Jackson and others. The entire four-and-a-half-minute video took around 175 hours to complete.

Comments from the Judges

“Visually appealing way to pivot from a video/zoom interview for a profile. Can tell that a lot of work went into the animating of the profile, presenting a vivid portrayal of Dr. Jackson.”

“So nice seeing the backstory of someone who received statewide recognition. Sometimes we report the award and forget that there is a person behind that award. I particularly like how you found one aspect of his life to use as the angle and went after that.”


Making it Work: A Day in the Life of Families Living Through a Summer Like No Other
Emmeline Zhao, JoAnne Wasserman, Taylor Swaak, Patrick O’Donnell, Bekah McNeel and Jim Fields
The 74 

Comment from the judges: “This is an impressive package not only because it covers groups of people that often get overlooked in our coverage but because of the depth and breadth of the coverage. This took a real time commitment from the reporting team and producers. “

Strength in Rural Places: Anchored in Hayesville
Caroline Parker, Taylor Shain and Robert Kinlaw

Comment from the judges: “Beautifully shot, demonstrates enterprising reporting and commitment over time to following a story. Good narrative arc throughout. Well done.”