Two ProPublica projects have won Peabody Awards.
“Hell and High Water,” an innovative collaboration between ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, won in the web category. The immersive project explored the vulnerability of the Houston area to a large, devastating hurricane. Reported by ProPublica’s Al Shaw, and Neena Satija and Kiah Collier of The Texas Tribune, the piece explained how researchers have warned for years that a hurricane could cripple the region, and wreak havoc on the refineries and storage containers clustered nearby — yet leaders had taken almost no action to prevent a disaster.
The project combined interactive online storm simulations based on complex models created by researchers, arresting photography of the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, and deep reporting to illustrate the breadth of the problem.
After “Hell and High Water” was published, President Obama signed into law a bill to expedite a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that will determine how best to protect Houston from such a hurricane. The law emerged from a bill that U.S. Sen. John Cornyn filed one month after ProPublica and The Texas Tribune published the joint report.
“Anatomy of Doubt,” a collaboration with This American Life and The Marshall Project, won in the radio/podcast category. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning print piece, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by ProPublica senior reporter T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project, the piece tells the story of a young woman whose allegations of rape are dismissed as attention-seeking lies by both the police and those closest to her, juxtaposed with the account of how her rapist was eventually captured by another police department. The report is a harrowing picture of the vilification and criminal prosecution the victim suffered, and a reminder to trust what victims say.
See a full list of the Peabody Award winners in the news, public service, radio/podcast, and web categories here.