NPF Newsletter

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Colorado Independent and The Wall Street Journal Win NPF Awards

Niki Turner, editor of the Rio Blanco Herald Times, and Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent, a nonprofit in Denver, are this year’s winners of the Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting. Their story, “Through the Cracks: A stranger, a police shooting, and a small town’s silence,” detailed how the killing of a mentally ill man by a police officer changed a community.

“The breadth and depth of the reporting was spectacular,” award judges said. “Through the lens of one tragic police shooting, this collaborative journalism project was able to peel back the layers to show how warning signs are ignored, how rural towns are unequipped to handle mental illness and how families struggle with too few choices.”

Read more about the story here.

Wall Street Journal reporters Katherine Blunt, Russell Gold and Rebecca Smith won the Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy and Environment Writing for their three-part series, “How PG&E Burned California.” The stories documented how the utility deferred maintenance for years, even decades, while promising federal regulators it would make upgrades. Judges called the work “accountability journalism at its finest” and “an example of dogged public affairs reporting based on record requests, on-site reporting and good old shoe leather.”

Read what the judges said here.

Online Training Roundup

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, NPF has hosted Zoom briefings and workshops to help journalists understand and cover the pandemic. Here’s a look at the most recent ones:

COVID-19 and Suicide: Exploring Prevention

David Gunnell of the University of Bristol, Holly Wilcox of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Alfiee Breland-Noble of the AAKOMA Project discussed conditions that could lead to more suicides, offered recommendations for prevention and answered questions from reporters on how to cover the topic responsibly.

Find resources from the training here.

Rural Mental Health After COVID-19

NPF’s Mattingly Award winners Niki Turner and Susan Greene joined a professor of social work from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Paul Force-Emery Mackie, to discuss mental health in rural America. Turner and Greene’s case study on Rangely, Colorado, shows what rural America faces as people struggle with the economic, health and social stressors of COVID-19.

Find resources from the training here.

Lessons from “The Great Influenza”

The 1918 flu pandemic killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. In an NPF online briefing, John M. Barry, author of “The Great Influenza” and a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, shared his insights on the 1918 episode and how it relates to the coronavirus outbreak of 2020.

To hear more, click here.

NPF Friends and Fellows

Here are some recent stories from NPF online training participants.

Lawmakers push for bill aiding suicide prevention | Ken Newton | News-Press NOW

Pima County sees spike in suicides, experts offer advice on how to cope in a pandemic | Perry Vandell | Arizona Republic

A ring of truth about pandemic lessons | Ken Dixon | The Register Citizen