Tampa Bay Times 2015
The Innovation in Journalism Award was awarded to the Tampa Bay Times for its investigation of county schools, “Failure Factories.”
The NPF judges said: “The Tampa Bay Times investigation surfaced the disastrous impact of re-segregation of its local schools. Its innovative use of data visualizations encouraged the reader to see the impact and interact with the data. The journalists fleshed out the data with real voices: teachers, parents and students. The project was fantastic journalism backed up heavily with data. It has focused the attention of state and federal authorities on disturbing Pinellas County school problems.”
Failure Factories team
Michael LaForgia is a reporter on the investigations team at the Tampa Bay Times. In 2014, he and Times reporter Will Hobson won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for stories that revealed Hillsborough County was paying tax dollars to house the homeless in squalor. He joined the Times in 2012.
Cara Fitzpatrick joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 and is an education reporter. She grew up in Washington State and graduated from the University of Washington and Columbia University.
Lisa Gartner covers Pinellas County Schools, colleges and universities. Before joining theTimes in 2013, Lisa covered D.C. Public Schools for The Washington Examiner. Herself a product of Florida public schools, Lisa grew up in Palm Beach County. She attended Northwestern University after purchasing a very heavy coat.
Nathaniel Lash, Times staff writer
Nathaniel Lash is a data reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, where he writes code to report stories and visualize data. He was a 2015 Livingston Award finalist. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014 and joined the Times in 2015.