2023 Excellence in Social Justice Reporting, Single Story winner


About the Project

Two years ago, Barcelona video journalist Renata Brito learned of a mysterious boat that had washed up in Tobago with dead men aboard. With that, she and colleague Felipe Dana, a photographer and video journalist, began a dogged quest to discover who the men were, what had happened to them, and what heartbreak and unresolved questions they had left behind.

From Mauritania to France and Tobago, AP journalists Brito and Dana found forensic evidence and built trust with a network of sources. By the end of their exhaustive journey, they knew who these men were and what led them to their deaths. They even confirmed one man’s identity with a DNA test.

The result was a presentation with a truly global readership, including Trinidad & Tobago where the boats washed ashore. The man they identified was given an Islamic funeral in March of 2023 on the island, while his family held prayers in both his hometown in Mali and in France.

Judges Comments

This story has a global resonance that is very personal and relatable, regardless of where you are in the world. It is a deeply reported feature and the writing is crisp, taking us inside three places across the globe to retrace the life and fate of those on the voyage, without overwhelming the reader. The story leverages all of the newsrooms resources — it is truly a multimedia package, seamlessly employing photography, video, and interactives.