The National Association of Black Journalists announced that the ProPublica investigation “The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods” is a finalist for the 2016 Salute to Excellence Awards in the Online Project: News category. The annual competition is the only awards program that honors exemplary coverage of African/African-American people or issues exclusively.
Reported by Paul Kiel, Annie Waldman and Al Shaw, “The Color of Debt” analyzed racial disparities in lawsuits used to pursue consumer debts. Through an analysis of court judgments in three cities – St. Louis, Chicago and Newark – and interactive maps, the data showed that the heaviest use of collection lawsuits consistently overlapped with majority black neighborhoods. Even when accounting for differences in income, ProPublica's investigation found that the rate of debt collection judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as in mostly white ones.
The winners will be announced at the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala in August. See a full list of finalists here.