2023 Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Current Affairs winner

Into America: Ongoing Current Affairs Reporting on Black America

About the Project

Into America explores the range and power of what it means to be Black in America. These are stories of triumph and adversity, pain and beauty, and the ongoing fight for freedom. Hosted by Trymaine Lee and brought to you by MSNBC, Into America is a weekly show about Black politics, history, and culture. We dive into the headlines with big names and go beyond them with the stories of everyday people.

For the Online Journalism Awards and the award for Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling – Current Affairs, we are sharing a collection of stories that we think represents the best of who we are as a show. As a weekly news show, it would be easy scale back on narrative storytelling, or skimp on sound design. Instead, we push into these things, producing stories that are consistently topical, powerful, and display a high-level of artistry.

In our story following up on the racist attack at Tops grocery store in Buffalo, NY, we visited the community, and dove into the context of the shooting. Along the way, we learned how Black Buffalonians fought for years to bring this supermarket to their community, making the heartache of the shooting that much more unjust.

In another story on gun violence, we met the Stevens’ – a family that did everything they could to get away from gun violence, only for it to find them in the most random way they could have imagined.

And we’re submitting one part of our ‘Power of the Black Vote’ series, in which we took the show onto the campuses of some of America’s most prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to engage with the next generation of Black thinkers and doers ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. At Jackson State in Mississippi, we had the chance to see how the state’s troubling history of voter suppression led to a convergence of threats – from the lack reproductive healthcare, to polluted drinking water.

Each of these stories gets to the heart of why news and current affairs matter – people. These are stories are about the policies and systems that shape our world, and each is filled with depth, emotion, and humanity.

Judges Comments

‘Into America’ did an amazing job taking a comprehensive look at American life through the eyes of Black Americans today. It exhibits excellent on-the ground reporting, fantastic finds on characters, well-scripted narration, scoring and sound design that guide listeners through the needs in each of these communities.