Innovative Storytelling Award

The Innovative Storytelling Award recognizes digital journalism of the highest quality that re-invents the way stories are told to present a compelling audience experience. Judges will take into consideration the originality of the nominated presentation, and how re-imagined delivery vehicles enhanced the audience’s understanding of the underlying journalism.  It is open to any U.S. journalist or U.S. news organization. The award and a cash prize of $5,000 will be presented at the NPF Awards Dinner on Feb. 15, 2018. The winner will also present at an educational event to explain and share the innovation behind the work at a date determined by NPF and the award winner.

The Washington Post’s investigation into police shootings received NPF’s 2016 Innovative Storytelling Award. The NPF judges said: “The Post changed the arc of an ongoing story by methodically building a database that added facts and evidence to the ongoing emotionally-charged narrative. Some of the facts were counter-intuitive — for all the rightful anger about shootings of unarmed African Americans, ‘The dead were overwhelmingly white men with guns, who had attacked or threatened people.’ On the other hand, the data showed disturbing facts: unarmed African-Americans were killed at a rate seven times higher than unarmed whites. A quarter of those killed were mentally ill. More than 50 officers involved in shootings had killed before. The project forced the FBI to admit that the Post had compiled a more complete database than it had, and the law agency is replicating the Post’s work.”

The judges awarded an honorable mention to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ Panama Papers project, recognizing “the sheer size and scope of a project that represents the work of hundreds of news organizations across the globe.”

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