2022 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom winner

The Boston Globe

About the Project

Over the past year, the Globe showed what it means to be a vital community news source. We held the powerful accountable, revealed hidden injustices, used novel technologies, and gave voice to readers.

We turned our vaunted Spotlight Team onto the incarceration system, one of the state’s most opaque institutions. The first investigation uncovered a vicious dog attack on prisoners that raised serious questions about procedures and transparency. Next, they delved into the felony murder law, a legal loophole condemning people to life sentences for proximity to a murder. Response came swift in both cases, with officials decrying the findings and calling for reform.

We tackled existential problems. With The Lobster Trap, we documented how the Gulf of Maine’s fast-warming waters are causing the unthinkable prospect of Maine lobster disappearing. A partnership with The Portland Press-Herald and its sister papers, the project tracked not only the ravages of climate change, but also a dying way of life for lobster fishers.

We also drove policy discussions central to our city. Our aggressive coverage of the growing humanitarian crisis of the “Mass and Cass” neighborhood forced officials into action.

Speaking of mayoral candidates, we employed a community-level approach to the election, eschewing horse race politics to instead profile a changing city about to elect its first woman and first person of color. Among the highlights were a voter-driven newsletter whose audience bucked our typical reader demographics and rich data journalism that conveyed a deeper understanding of residents and priorities.

We uncovered concerning national issues, as well. With “In Harm’s Way,” the Globe’s Washington bureau detailed the disturbing, growing trend of protesters being attacked with vehicles – aided by politicians and legislation.

“Under the Wheel,” with its stark design and uncomfortable, probing questions, was one of the best – and most personal – pieces of writing all year.

Always we sought to put people at the center of our reporting and connect deeply with communities. A Beautiful Resistance recognized Black New Englanders living their best lives, even in the face of society’s obstacles. To celebrate local hero David Ortiz’s Hall of Fame election, we catalogued his 558 homers in a thrilling interactive.

We experimented regularly. From audio events to slides to pledges to readers, we put interaction and fresh thinking at the forefront.

Finally, we had fun. Our 150th birthday included a series of historical multimedia retrospectives. The feature “What’s it like 12 miles underground?” took readers on a rare vertical journey.

The Globe produced hard-hitting reporting that prompted change, nuanced features, striking visuals, and we reached our community in meaningful ways.

Judges Comments

Judges were impressed by the impactful breadth and depth of The Boston Globe’s digital news coverage and its deep focus on a local audience. Highlights include some of their in-depth and investigative feature packages with striking illustrations, and photojournalism and a willingness to stretch and experiment.