The Society for News Design honored ProPublica with two medals in this year’s Best of Digital Design competition. ProPublica was recognized in the maps and social media design categories.
The “Polluter's Paradise” project on toxic air in Louisiana, in partnership with The Times-Picayune and The Advocate, received a bronze medal for use of maps. The investigative project used a scientific model developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to show that exposure levels to noxious chemicals are on track to increase dramatically in Louisiana, with a concentration of new chemical plants being approved in the state’s southeastern “Cancer Alley” region. This analysis was presented alongside an interactive graphic by Lylla Younes, Al Shaw and Claire Perlman that included some of the most detailed maps of where toxic chemicals are spreading, in addition to letting residents look up their address or neighborhood to see how industrial air pollution there compares to the entire area.
An Instagram video by ProPublica’s Lucas Waldron and Maya Eliahou, which told the story of a 16-year-old migrant who died while in Border Patrol custody, won a bronze medal for social media design. Video obtained by ProPublica showed the Border Patrol held the teenager in a concrete cell without proper medical attention, and that Border Patrol officials didn’t discover his body until his cellmate alerted guards — contradicting the Border Patrol’s account of his death.
In addition, ProPublica was honored with 20 Society of News Design Awards of Excellence. The Sacramento Bee, a partner in the ProPublica Local Reporting Network, won a silver medal for use of animation, recognizing a video created as part of a joint investigation into overcrowded and increasingly deadly conditions in California’s county jails.
See a list of all the Best of Digital Design winners here.