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ProPublica and Partners Win Seven Online Journalism Awards

The Online News Association has announced the winners of its annual Online Journalism Awards, which honor excellence in digital journalism around the world. ProPublica was honored with seven awards, including two projects with partner media organizations and two Local Reporting Network projects.

Juvenile Injustice, Tennessee” by Meribah Knight of Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN News and ProPublica reporter Ken Armstrong won the Knight Award for Public Service for its detailed account of the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The ProPublica Local Reporting Network project exposed the unsettling system, spanning decades, in which children were illegally arrested and jailed, all under the watch of a judge who was locking up kids at the highest rate in the state.

Black Snow: Big Sugar’s Burning Problem,” a Local Reporting Network project by ProPublica and The Palm Beach Post, won the 3M Truth in Science Award in the large newsroom category. In the series, Palm Beach Post reporter Lulu Ramadan, along with ProPublica engagement reporter Maya Miller, news applications developer Ash Ngu and video reporter Nadia Sussman, showed how regulators allow the sugar industry to burn crops at the expense of communities of color in Florida’s heartland, despite internal research and complaints from residents.

Shackles and Solitary: Inside Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup,” a collaboration between ProPublica, NBC News and The Marshall Project, won an Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships award. ProPublica’s Annie Waldman, The Marshall Project’s Beth Schwartzapfel, and NBC News’ Erin Einhorn exposed the harsh conditions of the Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville, where Louisiana’s most vulnerable youth, including boys with serious mental illness, were treated like violent criminals.

The Secret IRS Files” won the Explanatory Reporting award in the medium newsroom category. The series is an unprecedented analysis of wealth and inequality that reveals in startling detail precisely how the richest Americans routinely — and usually perfectly legally — sidestep the U.S. tax system. “How the .001% Use Retirement Accounts as Tax-Free Piggy Banks,” a short animated video in the series, won the Digital Video Storytelling, Short Form award in the small/medium newsroom category.

Hell at Abbey Gate,” a collaboration with Alive in Afghanistan, won the Feature award in the medium newsroom category. Brian J. Conley, Mohammad J. Alizada, Samira Nuhzat, Mirzahussain Sadid and Abdul Ahad Poya from Alive in Afghanistan; Joshua Kaplan and Joaquin Sapien from ProPublica; and Lynzy Billing, a freelancer, produced a meticulous narrative reconstruction of the Aug. 26, 2021, suicide bombing at Abbey Gate during the final stages of the U.S. and NATO evacuation of Afghanistan. Photos and video displayed the power of the blast in both physical and emotional terms.

Sacrifice Zones: Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution,” with its unprecedented data analysis and interactive map, won the University of Florida Award for Investigative Data in the small/medium newsroom category. The investigative series — a collaboration with The Texas Tribune and Mountain State Spotlight — uncovered more than 1,000 hot spots of toxic industrial air pollution across America and revealed elevated cancer risks for one-fifth of Americans.

View the full list of winners.

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