The mysterious explosion in autism cases over the last two decades has raised many questions about the causes of this poorly understood condition. The Los Angeles Times reviewed the scientific literature, interviewed dozens of experts and profiled nine diverse local families who share the love, pain, frustration and pride they feel for their autistic children. The series included a map of autism rates around the U.S., a timeline of key historic moments, and an interactive tool that explains how autism diagnoses are made. The judges called the series “a true public service” and said the reporting offered an early glimpse into the emerging politics and economics of autism diagnosis and treatment.
Parents of all backgrounds wait with hope, anxiety and anticipation for the official letter from Boston public schools informing them which kindergarten their child will attend. This project brought this shared experience to life through original reporting on a subject of great interest and concern to families. Cleverly produced videos introduced viewers to a compelling cast of characters. The series explained the mathematic algorithm behind school assignment and included an innovative mapping tool that traced the divergent daily bus commutes from students who lived on a single block but attended different schools.
The project, packaged in an easily navigable Web presentation, is filled with beautifully told stories in text, video and photos of an important topic: the day-to-day challenges facing homeless families. The five-month investigation found an overwhelmed social service network and families living in trucks and bouncing between friends’ homes and run-down motels. The videos of the homeless mothers, fathers and children telling their stories were extremely moving -- and eye-opening. The voice and story of the teenage homeless boy and his single mother – and their quiet dignity – is hard to forget. The outpouring of comments and offers of help from businesses and individuals revealed the nerves the stories touched in the community.
The finely reported and written narratives -- in text, video and photos -- captured many intimate and heartbreaking family moments during Sgt. Brian Eisch’s deployment and documented the huge strain a single parent’s assignment in a war zone has on the children and other family members left behind. The photos and video shot during Eisch’s visit home underscored the great access the reporter and photographer had with the family; the children’s voices and faces are a roadmap of heartache. Also impressive were the 262 comments the stories spawned.
This presentation details how difficult it is to get a life that has been derailed by heroin back on track. Most impressive were the reported blog and the four audio-slideshows of Kristin Alexander telling her story.
Combines great audio stories with text, some photos and a database detailing independence levels of people living in nursing homes. A great resource for families grappling with elderly members and others needing daily assistance.
This investigation into a South Side Chicago high school that graduates only 40 percent of its students is thorough, brave and full of impact. The WBEZ team deemed it essential not merely to report the story from a distance – as is often done with at-risk communities – but to actually embed themselves within their sources. The broad use of multimedia makes it difficult to imagine a closer or more focused look into the heart of this story. The project led officials from Chicago Public Schools, the city’s juvenile justice system and even performer Kanye West to direct attention and resources to the students at Paul Robeson High.
Each installment of this series on the costs and consequences of premature births is captivating and masterfully executed. The story flows from print to video to user-friendly charts and graphics, and the diversity of subjects presents a broad spectrum of perspective and effect.
These stories on Tennessee’s drug problem are spellbinding and even jaw-dropping. Boxley’s masterful use of Flash helps shine a gritty spotlight on the debilitating power of controlled substances on family life – and the hope that lies along the road to recovery.
A brilliantly structured presentation on the challenges facing a region and its aging population. By documenting the stories of caregivers, patients and families, the multimedia project is a great balance of narrative and user utility – not an easy thing to achieve. The incorporation of numerous social networking sites demonstrates a creative use of the medium to tell an important story.
An incredibly engaging presentation about the lives of children in a Detroit foster home. Thoroughly reported and well designed, the piece focuses on a world that is often removed from the public eye. The combination of video and stills is particularly effective; the entire multimedia presentation is intuitive and items are easy to find and navigate.
A phenomenal work in its breadth and its attention to detail, this is a powerful portrait of a school system where good people and teachers struggle, poor teachers persist, children with marginal literacy are promoted and buildings have been allowed to decay. The interactive map is a brilliant merge of databases that creates a vivid snapshot of each school. The slide shows, audio, teacher profiles, stories all work together as a memorable documentary
Investigative reporting at its finest. A tremendous service to consumers, readers and Web visitors in documenting the failings of the system that was meant to protect us from harm.
A haunting story of a close, extended multi-ethnic family's experience with gun violence. The team showed true craft to produce work that takes the reader to a higher level of understanding.
This project makes an important contribution to racial dialogue in our nation’s capital, integrating a huge amount of material into an attractive and navigable interface that encourages the visitor to sample, browse and dig deep. The site offers users a panoply of choices including video presentations, audio narratives and opinion blogs.
This informative, poignant package tracks and uncovers many of the reasons behind Oakland’s escalating homicide rate.
This impressive entry, replete with photo galleries and maps, reveals how waste from Cold War-era uranium mines contaminated parts of the Navajo Nation.
A worthy project that raises important questions about who is poor, why are they poor and how have things changed over time.
Excellent enterprise reporting on the risks children face online.
This thoughtful series on women recovering from domestic violence makes good, extensive use of multimedia to highlight a common problem that’s often sensationalized but rarely well investigated.
This package of stories showcases stellar reporting and writing and demonstrates the power of a true multimedia news-feature on the Internet. Without preaching or flinching, the stories follow three teens — Janea, Monique and Jesse — as they graduate from the foster care system and are left to fend for themselves in shelters, prison and on the streets. Through text-based stories, photo galleries, narrated slide shows and video, the reader is shown how difficult the adjustment can be. There's enough heartbreak and hope in the series to keep policymakers occupied for a century.