By Sandy K. Johnson

Worried about the future of journalism? There’s plenty to be concerned about, but these NPF award-winning projects will give you a boost of confidence in our profession.

Settle in for some extraordinary reading:

_The Washington Post produced “Raising Barriers” about 63 border walls or fences that separate neighboring countries on four continents. Barriers once broken down by global trade are rising again, “driven by waves of migration, spillover from wars and the growing threat of terrorism.” The project – produced by Samuel Granados, Zoeann Murphy, Kevin Schaul and Anthony Faiola – won NPF’s Innovative Storytelling Award.

_An honorable mention in that category went to the Arizona Republic and the USA Today Network for “The Wall,” a multimedia project that mapped every mile of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Republic’s editor, Nicole Carroll, won the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award, in part for overseeing the ambitious border project.

_Carbon emissions are invisible to the naked eye, which makes it easy for conservatives to dismiss climate change. But Tony Bartelme, special projects reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, found a way to “color” those gases. He borrowed infrared cameras from a technology company, FLIR, which vividly illustrated the greenhouse gas footprint in the community. “Chasing Carbon” won NPF’s Technology in Journalism Award.

_When Rep. Tom Price was nominated to be Health and Human Services Secretary in the Trump administration, Wall Street Journal reporters James V. Grimaldi and Michelle Hackman burrowed into hundreds of pages of the congressman’s stock trades. They discovered that Price had traded in health stocks while pushing legislation that could affect those stocks, findings that dominated Price’s confirmation hearings and effectively put him in the crosshairs during his brief tenure at HHS. Their work merited the 2017 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress.

_A team of Washington Post reporters won The Feddie Reporting Award for uncovering a back story of the MS-13 gang that has terrorized urban areas. Justin Jouvenal, Michael E. Miller and Dan Morse revealed lapses in the federal refugee resettlement program that allowed MS-13 gang members to slip through the cracks and regroup in the United States. In the Washington area alone, more than 40 young immigrants have been involved in MS-13 violence, including murder.

_ Editorial cartoonists have had a field day with the Trump administration. Enjoy this collection of cartoons that garnered Kevin Kallaugher the 2017 Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartoons. KAL, a cartoonist for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist, is the only cartoonist to ever win the Berryman twice; his first win was in 2002.

Learn about more NPF award winners here. Join us at our annual journalism awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 15, to cheer on these award-winning journalists and celebrate the First Amendment.