Project on Urban Heat Wins NPF Award

The National Press Foundation’s Innovative Storytelling Award has been awarded to an ambitious collaboration between NPR and the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Capital News Service.

The teams will receive the award at NPF’s annual journalism awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington, D.C., along with other award winners. Learn more about the NPF dinner here.

The NPF judges said: “The student journalists involved with this project literally built new tools – hardware to collect hard data – that tracked temperatures over time to get a sense of the stultifying impact of summer in the city. The brilliance of their innovation may offer early tea leaves of how innovation will drive the future of newsrooms. The ‘Code Red’​ project, done in collaboration with NPR, also gave readers a peek behind the scenes to see how journalism works.”​

The Innovative Storytelling Award recognizes digital journalism of the highest quality that reinvents the way stories are told. Judges take into consideration the originality of the nominated presentation, how reimagined delivery vehicles enhanced the audience’s understanding of the underlying journalism, and creativity in applying tools or technologies. The award carries a $5,000 prize.

Lucy Dalglish, dean of the university’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, said of the award:

“This was the first major project from the Howard Center, and that it was our students competing against the top professional news organizations in the country makes this prestigious honor mean even more to Merrill College. The ‘Code Red’ project put the future of journalism on display, with its data visualizations, motion graphics and sensor technology, illustrating how young journalists can use new techniques and methods to serve communities.”

“We’re particularly proud of the way our team and the Howard Center’s journalists worked together to produce something so engaging and important,” said Robert Little, NPR’s senior investigations editor. “Collaborations like this are key to NPR’s strategy to serve its audience, and we’re excited to do more.”

The National Press Foundation is an independent nonprofit that is run by and for journalists. NPF’s sole mission is to educate practicing journalists about today’s most pressing issues and to provide critical toolbox training.

For more information about dinner sponsorships, please contact Jenny Ash-Maher at

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