2022 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist

The Washington Post

About the Project

Washington Post journalism prompts action.

Over the past year, our sprawling and illuminating investigations have influenced lawmakers and brought about tangible effects – showcasing journalism’s essential role as a watchdog of our institutions and elected leaders and as a protector of democracy itself.

Our work empowers our readers, and vice versa. They drive us to innovate, to connect in new ways, delivering news with precision and speed. Our public databases provide our readers with tools to help them conduct their own research and draw their own informed conclusions. Our advice and perspectives help them adapt and thrive in this unprecedented time.

The impact of our journalism is wide-reaching. “The Attack,” an unparalleled three-part account of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, showed how President Donald Trump radicalized his supporters in real time and how officials at multiple agencies neglected to respond to a cascade of red flags signaling that his followers were planning violent acts. Among other actions after its publication, the House committee immediately stepped up its focus on law enforcement failures that preceded the insurrection. The ”Broken Doors” podcast revealed how no-knock warrants are deployed in the American justice system. More than a year of reporting revealed how many people have been killed during these raids in recent years, and the series unearthed startling details about deadly raids across the country. Weeks after the conclusion of the series, President Biden signed an executive order restricting the use of no-knock warrants for federal law enforcement.

Through open-source materials, videos and photos shared via social media from inaccessible locations, our reporters can embark on in-depth investigations and bring our readers into the story from the perspective of people on the ground. With the war in Ukraine becoming one of the most documented conflicts in modern history, our visual forensics team combed through hundreds upon hundreds of videos from citizens, public officials and soldiers. Using videos authenticated through a rigorous newsroom verification process, we created a searchable visual database giving readers a centralized, uncensored view of how Russia’s invasion unfolded — as well as a tool for newsrooms and other organizations examining the conflict.

Often a single statistic can lead to some of our most ambitious journalism. One was this: By 2100, 13 of the world’s 20 biggest cities will be in Africa. “Africa’s Rising Cities” reveals, through personal stories and data visualizations, the drivers of the massive growth expected on the continent in the decades to come. Another remarkable stat: In its history, more than 1,700 members of Congress had enslaved Black people at some point in their lives. Post journalists published a penetrating look at who they were and how they shaped the country, creating and publishing a first-of-its-kind searchable database of their findings, also shared on GitHub and the website Enslaved.

In May, the 1 millionth American died of covid-19 — a number with incomprehensible weight. “Cut Short” remembers one person for each week of the pandemic, showing what brought them joy and what they wanted to do next.