Two ProPublica projects have been named Peabody Award finalists.
“Hell and High Water,” an innovative collaboration between ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, is a finalist in the web category. The multimedia project – by a team of local reporters and data journalists including ProPublica’s Al Shaw and Jeff Larson, along with The Texas Tribune’s Neena Satija, Kiah Collier and Ryan Murphy – showed the risk to Houston of a major hurricane with the potential to devastate the region.
The project’s immersive stories combined science journalism, cutting-edge technology, and on-the-ground reporting on regular people who stand to lose the most. It presented accurate, playable storm simulations based on complex storm models created by researchers; a lookup tool that lets Houstonians see how storm models predict their own homes will be affected; and deeply reported stories that are fully integrated into the interactive experience.
The impact of “Hell and High Water” has been considerable, with plans to protect the area finally moving forward. Texas Senator John Cornyn has since introduced legislation fast-tracking coastal protection studies. Parts of that legislation were included in a bill signed by President Obama last December.
“Anatomy of Doubt,” a collaboration with This American Life and The Marshall Project, is a finalist in the radio/podcast category. Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning print story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by ProPublica senior reporter T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project, the piece deconstructs skepticism in a rape victim’s case, how it spread from the police to her community. The story also recounts the meticulous work of two female detectives who identified and caught the rapist, ultimately vindicating the young woman.
After its publication, the story was applauded by the police department that had mishandled the initial investigation, and several law enforcement agencies requested permission to use it as part of their training programs.
The Peabody Award winners will be announced later this month. See a full list of the finalists here.