Announcing Our 2013 Honorees

April 7, 2014 – The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 National Awards for Education Reporting, honoring tireless reporting, compelling storytelling, trenchant criticism and sterling analysis produced by print, radio and online media outlets across the country.

The 72 honored entries hail from a diverse array of media outlets that range from three-person newsrooms operating on a shoestring budget to legacy outlets with hundreds of reporters. More than 260 entrants submitted roughly 430 entries in 26 categories.

View a full list of winners

First-place winners are eligible for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, whose winner will be announced at an awards banquet May 18 during EWA’s 67th National Seminar. All winners will be honored at the May 18-20 conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

This year’s contest saw the addition of new categories recognizing data reporting and visualization as well as analysis and commentary by education experts, advocates and thought leaders.

“Recognizing high-quality coverage is one of the most important services we provide at EWA, and we are thrilled to congratulate this year’s crop of honorees,” said Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director.

Some winning entries brought fresh approaches to explaining longstanding education problems while others shed much-needed light on emerging trends, overlooked populations, or little-understood issues. Winners displayed the crusading spirit of watchdog journalism, chronicling everything from the questionable results of high-priced initiatives to the rise and fall of wayward leaders. Honorees told moving stories, such as that of a violence-plagued community in California and the struggle of a Florida girl with terminal cancer to graduate from high school. Many entries showcased the innovative use of embedded video and photography, as well as exceptional writing and exhaustive editing. In all these stories, the judges rewarded reporters for the sources they cultivated and the rich images they conjured.  

The reporting contest, an EWA tradition stretching back five decades, was independently judged over two rounds by 33 current and former newsroom editors and reporters. No judge reviewed an entry submitted by his or her current or recent employer.

The judges are: Donna Blankinship, The Associated Press; Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times; Daarel Burnette, Chalkbeat Tennessee; Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post; Kim Clark, Money Magazine; Martha Dalton, Public Broadcasting Atlanta; Laura Diamond, Georgia Institute of Technology (formerly of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Carole Feldman, The Associated Press; Kent Fischer (formerly of The Dallas Morning News); Steve Friess, Michigan State University (formerly of Politico); Bill Graves, formerly of The Oregonian; Cathy Grimes, The Daily Press (Va.); Joe Grimm, Michigan State University; Alyson Klein, Education Week; Holly Yettick, University of Colorado (formerly of Rocky Mountain News); Christina Littlefield, Pepperdine University (formerly of Las Vegas Sun);  Kit Lively, University of Northern Colorado (formerly of The Dallas Morning News and The Chronicle of Higher Education, past president of EWA); Kathleen Manzo, Education Week; Julia McEvoy, KQED (Calif.); Beth Miller, The News Journal (Del.); Nancy Mitchell, Education Commission of the States (formerly of Rocky Mountain News); Timothy Pratt, freelance (formerly of Las Vegas Sun);  Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education; Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Lauren Roth, Orlando Sentinel;  Mackenzie Ryan, Florida Today; Nirvi Shah, Politico; Sam Skolnik, formerly of The National Law Journal and Las Vegas Sun; Scott Smallwood, The Chronicle of Higher Education; Brian Smith, MLive.com (Mich.); Miles Smith, formerly of WJLA-TV (D.C.); Ty Tagami, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution; Laura Tillman, freelance (including The New York Times, Pacific-Standard, The Washington Post and Reuters).