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2019 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom finalist

The Texas Tribune

About the Project

Among the Tribune’s landmark efforts in the last year were triumphs of breaking news and investigative journalism, podcasts and documentaries, data visuals and personalized technology, and audience and staff engagement. A sampling:

The Tribune broke many of the earliest stories on the family separation crisis at the border, dispatched waves of journalists to South Texas, Mexico and Central America for months at a time to cover it, and sent our fundraising operation into overdrive to afford it — allowing us to produce hundreds of stories that drove the national conversation.

Our reporters exposed serious and disqualifying errors in GOP leaders’ allegations that tens of thousands of Texans had voted illegally, leading to the demise of the state’s “voter citizenship review,” the launch of a congressional inquiry and the forced resignation of the Texas Secretary of State.

We published investigations into the re-segregation of Texas public schools, a West Texas drilling boom that’s threatening the planet and the ways the state condones discrimination against people who rely on housing vouchers.

We produced Border Hustle, a harrowing 30-minute documentary on the border crisis, with TIME Magazine; rolled out a viral docuseries, Split/Decision, that let us introduce voters to dozens of midterm candidates using virtual debates; and launched Under the Dome, a docuseries that used extraordinary access and clever filmmaking to demystify the Texas Legislature.

We provided readers with real-time midterm election results and offered personalized and embeddable voter engagement tools for dozens of Texas newsrooms.

We launched a new CMS, a new podcast on the Texas Legislature and a new smartspeaker product — the first and only daily news briefing specific to Texas. “Alexa, tell me the Texas news!”

We partnered with NPR’s 1A, Newsy, AP, Reveal and TIME Magazine to bring our reporting to far wider audiences.

We launched This Is Your Texas, a private Facebook group for civil discourse on Texas politics that has upwards of 5,000 members, and #TexanSince, a Twitter campaign that spurs dialogue on the state’s future.

We rolled out our first-ever strategic plan, a nine-month initiative that included every member of our staff and also serves as a guidepost for the nation’s nonprofit newsrooms. That work included the publication of a staff diversity report, an accounting of where we are and where we need to go to ensure the Tribune’s staff and coverage accurately reflect Texas.

Our efforts to grow and diversify our audience also paid off. In the last year our unique visitors grew by 37 percent, our pageviews grew by 24 percent and our search traffic grew by 65 percent. We exceeded — and in some cases even doubled — our audience goals in every one of our target geographic markets, from Dallas and Houston to San Antonio and El Paso.

We believe The Texas Tribune is the nation’s gold standard when it comes to reporting, delivering and sustaining local news. We hope you see fit to honor us with your general excellence award.