Five ProPublica projects, including three done in partnership with other outlets, won national Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Radio Television Digital News Association announced on Tuesday. The competition honors outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital news.
“Plot to Overturn the Election,” a collaboration with PBS’ FRONTLINE, won the news documentary category. In the documentary, A.C. Thompson, along with reporters Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Kirsten Berg, share new information that helps explain why two-thirds of Republicans believe President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. It examines the roles and impact of key members of the movement to spread the belief that the presidential election was rigged. The documentary also explores how members of the movement helped launch and fund the audit of Arizona’s vote count and how they are working to influence future elections, in part by supporting secretary of state candidates who share their views that America’s voting systems are irredeemably corrupt.
“A Uranium Ghost Town in the Making,” with contributions from Mark Olalde, Maya Miller, Mauricio Rodríguez Pons and photojournalist Ed Ou, won the hard news category. The investigation, co-published with the Los Angeles Times, examined how mining companies and regulators have allowed millions of tons of uranium waste to continue polluting rural areas, exposing overlooked failures in a system meant to protect Western communities and waterways.
“Meet the Woman Fighting for the Rights of Voters Who Can’t Read” won the excellence in video category. For decades, conservative politicians have passed laws that make it both harder for voters who struggle to read to cast a ballot and, at the same time, discourage anyone trying to help them. Olivia Coley-Pearson knows this better than most. She has been criminally charged twice in the past decade for her attempts to help people navigate their ballots; she has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing. She serves as a city commissioner in Douglas, the majority-Black seat of Coffee County, Georgia, where a third of the population struggles to read.
In the short film, ProPublica’s journalists followed Coley-Pearson on the day of Georgia’s primary elections in May 2022 to capture her efforts to give voters access to assistance. The video was directed and edited by Rodríguez Pons, who collaborated on the cinematography with Zach Read. It was executive produced by Almudena Toral, with additional production by Aliyya Swaby, Annie Waldman and Rodríguez Pons.
“The Night Raids” won in the excellence in writing category. It is a deeply reported and personal story by Afghan-born journalist Lynzy Billing that unravels the legacy of the secretive U.S.-backed Zero Units that killed countless civilians in Afghanistan. The investigation shed new light on the CIA’s “classified” war in Afghanistan, where lines of accountability were so obscured that no one had to answer for operations that went wrong. More than three years of reporting and 350 interviews went into compiling the first-ever database of 452 Afghan civilians killed by night raids. While this is almost certainly an undercount, without Billing’s reporting these deaths would never have been acknowledged, nor would we know the true costs of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan.
“Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum (Salmon People): A Native Fishing Family’s Fight to Preserve a Way of Life,” a collaboration with Oregon Public Broadcasting through ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, won the news documentary category. Over the last century and a half, Columbia River tribal people have watched their access to salmon erode because of broken treaty promises, dams and environmental contamination. This film, by Katie Campbell and Tony Schick and edited by Dewi Sungai Marquis, features the plight of the Columbia River salmon and the Native people whose lives revolve around them. It is also part of a yearlong accountability project: to show the many failures of the U.S. government to fulfill its salmon-related treaty obligations to tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
See the Radio Television Digital News Association’s site for a complete list of Murrow Award winners.