2018 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom finalist


About the Project

Quartz is a global business publication that offers deep reporting to connect the dots on seemingly disparate phenomena and help our readers parse the future shape of things. We are built primarily for consumption on mobile devices, and use innovative formats and tools that most effectively communicate stories on them.

The Obsession email, for example, offers an innovative, digitally-native presentation of a long form story, employing interactive elements, like surveys, as well as emoji, animated GIFS, video, photography and charts, to more deeply engage our audience as we take them down the rabbit hole of a single topic, in this case LaCroix. Through an exploration of its history, its marketing, its science and its place in popular culture, Jessanne Collins offers a sophisticated exploration of how a can of carbonated water became an icon in our age of tempered expectations.

David Yanofsky’s scoop about Android privacy shows how Google tracks users of Android devices as they go about their day-to-day lives, in ways that are persistent and creepy. By tapping into cell towers, wifi access points, bluetooth signals, and GPS, the tracking can even persist when users have turned “off” those features. Our reporting was particularly innovative: We wrote software and constructed mobile rigs to allow us to collect and parse the information being broadcast by Android phones in real time. Because of this, we were able to observe and collect the precise information that Google was transmitting back to its servers.

In the first episode of our In the Deep video series, Erik Olsen accompanies scientists as they set out on an expedition in the South Pacific to study how underwater animals see the world, and how that has influenced the way the creatures have evolved. It’s a story that can only be told in video. Quartz used underwater cameras to show the animals amazing camouflage ability, meticulous animation to explain the vast range of color humans cannot see, and drone-mounted cameras to capture the incredible setting.

Conventional wisdom holds that automation, not trade, is responsible for the staggering job losses in US manufacturing over the last few decades. Conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong. In “The epic mistake about manufacturing,” Gwynn Guilford explains how a misinterpretation of economic data led economists, politicians, and the media to sell the American public a false narrative about the inevitability of disappearing factory jobs.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have played Google’s game, Quick, Draw! Which asks users to draw a doodle. This prompted us to ask whether your location and language affect how you draw, and what takeaways it might have for our understanding of global culture. For “How do you draw a circle?” Thu-Huong Ha and Nikhil Sonnad ask readers a deceptively simple question. They used it as a starting point to analyze 100,000 drawings, and illuminate fundamental cultural influences on human qualities we think of as innate.