2023 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom winner

The Washington Post

About the Project

Over the last year, Washington Post journalism met our readers in their time of need, providing powerful and sophisticated journalism that helps them understand the complexity of our world. We offered that work in a variety of story forms, on a variety of platforms, responding swiftly from newsrooms in Washington, London and Seoul as news broke around the world.

Just hours after publishing a nine-part series investigating the impact of the AR-15, three children and three adults were gunned down inside an elementary school in Nashville. Readers trying to make sense of the latest tragedy found our work, and it resonated. “The Blast Effect” shows through gripping and detailed 3D illustrations the catastrophic damage bullets fired by AR-15s cause inside human bodies, including two children, 6 and 15 — their bodies shredded by high-velocity rounds. “I am an AR-15 owner. This story was moving and convincing,” one reader commented. “You won me over. Facts beat rhetoric and criticism of those you disagree with.”

We invested in the most pressing stories, investigating every angle and using innovative approaches to hold the powerful to account. “Cartel Rx: Fentanyl’s Deadly Surge” a year-long effort into how and why fentanyl is ravaging America, combines evocative writing, unflinching photo and videojournalism, rigorous data research and compelling graphics and design to hold accountable two national governments, four U.S. administrations and multiple federal agencies. “3D analysis shows how Israeli troops fired into group of civilians” is a reconstruction of what soldiers saw when they fired 14 shots, in four seconds, that left two dead and three injured in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. “Black Out,” a series anchored by first-of-its-kind data analysis, shoe-leather reporting and compelling multimedia storytelling, sheds light on discrimination faced by Black leaders in an American cultural powerhouse: the NFL.

We continue to be a leader in covering climate and the environment. This year, we expanded our team and reimagined our coverage to be more visual and accessible through continued in-depth reporting, a climate coach newsletter, columns and interactive stories to capture the profound impact of a warming planet on its inhabitants, agriculture, water supply and flora and fauna. “America Underwater,” an interactive project that layers FEMA’s flood maps alongside residents’ experience of extreme flooding, reveals how the government’s mapping failed to warn Americans about their flood risk. “In a land of cold, the architecture is tested by heat,” a 3D visual narrative, explores the intersection of climate change and design though British architecture to show how centuries-old homes trap heat and cold, to dangerous effect.

Lastly, The Post picked up and finished what others could not. Not long after Jeff German—an investigative reporter at The Las Vegas Review-Journal—was found slain outside his home, Lizzie Johnson finished the story German had planned on taking on next. “An alleged $500 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Mormons and left hundreds of victims in its wake” is a gripping narrative of accountability that was published simultaneously by The Post and Review-Journal.

Judges Comments

This entry’s 3D modelling, world-class storytelling and gorgeous animation impressed the judges, who felt that the work was incredibly powerful and the kind of journalism that challenges beliefs and could lead to cultural change.