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2021 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist

The Boston Globe

About the Project

Over the past year, the Globe showed what it means to be a pivotal news source for its community. We held the powerful accountable, revealed the inequities in the pandemic, used technology to tell stories using novel methods, and gave voice to our readers in equally unique ways.

We covered the pandemic in ways that mattered. We aggressively obtained data — often through records requests and lawsuits — and made them accessible to the public. Millions of readers visited these visualizations and the reporting that accompanied them, and they proved pivotal to keeping people informed. We also found ways to connect with homebound readers through our newsletters, live updates files on the pandemic and politics, and events livestreamed to thousands.

We held officials accountable. Our vaunted Spotlight Team delved into the state’s nursing homes, where at one point one in seven residents had died from the coronavirus. Our reporting exposed the repeated failures of public officials to keep our most vulnerable population safe, leading to resignations, investigations, and questions that reached the governor’s office.

But our journalism went far beyond COVID. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the Globe formed a crack team of investigative journalists, data reporters, and multimedia specialists to take a sharp look at our local police forces. The result was a series of stories under the banner “Behind the Shield” that uncovered scandal after scandal in both the Boston and state police departments, reaching as far as President Biden’s administration.

That wasn’t the only one. Our investigation “Blind Spot” took on the nation’s patchwork driving regulations, which regularly allow unqualified drivers back on the road — sometimes to fatal results.

With “Last Words,” we used an unprecedented data set — two decades of death certificates — to show how the inequalities we see in life are also reflected in our deaths. Those who live in wealthy neighborhoods can live as much as 15 years longer than those who don’t, our data showed. Similar inequities exist on racial and other demographic lines. To accompany the project, we produced a series of user-driven interactives, visualizing the inequalities inherent in 20 years of the lives of Massachusetts residents.

Of course, we covered an election unlike any other. Our six-part preview, “A test for democracy,” proved eerily prophetic. Our suite of mobile-optimized pages tracked elections results in real-time over a weeklong drama as mail-in ballots rolled in and our country sat on edge. And when Trump’s mob descended on the Capitol, our lightning-quick turnaround of a multimedia timeline offered one of the first clear visions of what actually happened today.

With “A Beautiful Resistance,” columnist Jeneé Osterheldt celebrated Black joy through a groundbreaking multimedia project that included profiles, videos, an Instagram account, and music playlists.

We produced hard-hitting reporting that prompted change, nuanced features, striking visuals, videos, and multimedia and, perhaps most importantly, we reached our audience in meaningful and original ways. For these reasons, we proudly submit BostonGlobe.com for the OJA in general excellence.””Over the past year, the Globe showed what it means to be a pivotal news source for its community. We held the powerful accountable, revealed the inequities in the pandemic, used technology to tell stories using novel methods, and gave voice to our readers in equally unique ways.

We covered the pandemic in ways that mattered. We aggressively obtained data — often through records requests and lawsuits — and made them accessible to the public. Millions of readers visited these visualizations and the reporting that accompanied them, and they proved pivotal to keeping people informed. We also found ways to connect with homebound readers through our newsletters, live updates files on the pandemic and politics, and events livestreamed to thousands.

We held officials accountable. Our vaunted Spotlight Team delved into the state’s nursing homes, where at one point one in seven residents had died from the coronavirus. Our reporting exposed the repeated failures of public officials to keep our most vulnerable population safe, leading to resignations, investigations, and questions that reached the governor’s office.

But our journalism went far beyond COVID. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the Globe formed a crack team of investigative journalists, data reporters, and multimedia specialists to take a sharp look at our local police forces. The result was a series of stories under the banner “Behind the Shield” that uncovered scandal after scandal in both the Boston and state police departments, reaching as far as President Biden’s administration.

That wasn’t the only one. Our investigation “Blind Spot” took on the nation’s patchwork driving regulations, which regularly allow unqualified drivers back on the road — sometimes to fatal results.

With “Last Words,” we used an unprecedented data set — two decades of death certificates — to show how the inequalities we see in life are also reflected in our deaths. Those who live in wealthy neighborhoods can live as much as 15 years longer than those who don’t, our data showed. Similar inequities exist on racial and other demographic lines. To accompany the project, we produced a series of user-driven interactives, visualizing the inequalities inherent in 20 years of the lives of Massachusetts residents.

Of course, we covered an election unlike any other. Our six-part preview, “A test for democracy,” proved eerily prophetic. Our suite of mobile-optimized pages tracked elections results in real-time over a weeklong drama as mail-in ballots rolled in and our country sat on edge. And when Trump’s mob descended on the Capitol, our lightning-quick turnaround of a multimedia timeline offered one of the first clear visions of what actually happened today.

With “A Beautiful Resistance,” columnist Jeneé Osterheldt celebrated Black joy through a groundbreaking multimedia project that included profiles, videos, an Instagram account, and music playlists.

We produced hard-hitting reporting that prompted change, nuanced features, striking visuals, videos, and multimedia and, perhaps most importantly, we reached our audience in meaningful and original ways. For these reasons, we proudly submit BostonGlobe.com for the OJA in general excellence.