The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced the finalists for its 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards, the only awards program that honors exemplary coverage of African/African-American people or issues exclusively. Two ProPublica projects were named among this year’s honorees.
“Lost Mothers,” in collaboration with NPR, is the sole finalist and apparent winner in the Digital Interactive News Story category. The collaboration illuminated the maternal mortality crisis in the United States. Despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country, the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality and severe morbidity in the affluent world. ProPublica reporters Nina Martin, Adriana Gallardo, Annie Waldman and ProPublica/Vox video fellow Ranjani Chakraborty, along with NPR special correspondent Renee Montagne, explored the crisis through radio pieces, articles, videos, and a first-of-its-kind database of women who died from pregnancy-related complications.
“Walking While Black,” a joint investigation with the Florida Times-Union, was announced as a finalist in the Online News Project category. The story examined Jacksonville, Florida’s enforcement of pedestrian violations in showing sharp racial disparities in who gets stopped and penalized. Based on the reporting, the sheriff sought guidance from the local state attorney on whether his officers were properly interpreting the statutes, and he ordered officers to cease writing tickets citing pedestrians who did not have ID on them. The sheriff’s office also initiated bias training for officers who work in Jacksonville’s predominantly black communities. ProPublica’s Topher Sanders, Lucas Waldron, Kate Rabinowitz and ProPublica/Vox video fellow Ranjani Chakraborty, along with the Florida Times-Union’s Ben Conarck, teamed up for the project.
This year’s award winners will be announced at the 2018 NABJ Convention and Salute to Excellence Gala on Saturday, Aug. 4. For a full list of NABJ Awards finalists, please visit the awards site.