2023 – Grand Awards

2023 Print Division


First Place and BEST IN SHOW
“The Rise and Fall of a Predatory Police Force”
John Archibald, Ashley Remkus and Ramsey Archibald
Judges’ comments: What an astonishing revelation: A small Alabama town has turned into an extortion racket run by its cops. Force surges in size, acquires a tank and drug dogs. Visitors and residents are festooned with tickets for the most minor of violations. Within days of publication, the police chief was out as was half the force. So many gold nuggets are to be found in this remarkable series.

GrandAwardRibbonNick Oza Best of Show Photography Award

First Place and BEST IN SHOW
“Hollywood’s Finest”
Christina House
Los Angeles Times
Judges’ comments: An epic tale of Mckenzie Trahan’s love, loss, drugs, motherhood & homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles told through the lens of Christina House. We follow Mckenzie for more than two years as she struggles with her addictions, overcomes them, gives birth, loses her child, returns to the streets and eventually gets off the street and into an apartment.

Read about the renaming of this award

2023 Broadcast Division


First Place and BEST IN SHOW
Lee Zurik, Jon Turnipseed and Dannah Sauer
Judges’ comments: WVUE’s crack investigative unit commands our attention annually, but this year’s probe by Lee Zurik into a quirky Louisiana statute that allowed the city of New Orleans and other agencies to ignore court-ordered settlements for eternity was not only shocking in its depth of cruelty, but in its results: Shamed by the Fox affiliate, governing agencies released tens of millions of dollars to deserving victims of malfeasance. Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular is fortunate to have Zurik and WVUE on guard for public interest.


First Place and BEST IN SHOW
“The death-penalty trial and verdict of the Parkland school shooter”
Gerard Albert III, Kate Payne and Christine DiMattei
Judges’ comments: Story thoroughly reported in bites less than 5 minutes each with updates in each bite. It was as if the reporter didn’t want to waste “space.” The reporter’s words painted detailed pictures of the actions and people better than what most would glean from actual visuals. He was truly our eyes and ears in a calm, measured and detail-oriented approach to conveying the courtroom experience and impact.

2023 Online Division


First Place and BEST IN SHOW
“Unfinished: Ernie’s Secret”
Staff of Scripps News & Stitcher
Scripps News & Stitcher
Judges’ comments: In a category with many strong entries, “Unfinished: Ernie’s Secret” stands out. The fact of the story is simple: a prominent civil rights era photographer was also an FBI informant. But the nuances, humanity and historical context are what separated this work. It draws from a range of sources, including FBI documents and the result is a compelling work of great journalism.