The winning investigations and categories include:
- The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) won Best Collaborative Investigative/Enterprise Reporting with under 1 million unique monthly visitors for Swiss Leaks & Luxembourg Leaks
- ICIJ also won Best Innovation Project with under 1 million unique monthly visitors for Fatal Extraction: Australian Mining in Africa
- Best use of Data/Infographics with under 1 million unique monthly visitors was won by Who’s Trying to Influence Your Vote? Tracking TV Ad Wars in the 2014 Election
- Best Community Service on a Media-Affiliated Website with under 1 million unique monthly visitors and over went to Criminalizing Kids, a collaboration with Reveal Radio
Two ICIJ’s investigations – the Luxembourg Leaks and Swiss Leaks projects – sought to pull back the veil of secrecy surrounding tax havens around the world. In Luxembourg Leaks, ICIJ used secret documents to expose the backroom deals that allowed more than 370 companies – including Disney and Ikea – to avoid billions of euros in taxes on profits they channeled through Luxembourg. The Swiss Leaks project was based on 60,000 leaked files that revealed how the Swiss branch of HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, profited from doing business with criminals and tax dodgers around the world.
Fatal Extraction exposed links between Australian mining companies, their practices in Africa and allegations of negligence, violence, environmental law-breaking and other behaviors that U.S. experts said would never be tolerated in the States. It was the Center’s first interactive multimedia presentation of its kind, integrating experimental technology to create an immersive experience. The project combines video, data-driven graphics, audio, stills and text in a documentary-style narrative.
For the 2014 election cycle, state and federal money in politics teams at the Center sought to expose the powerful special interests that try to influence elections and policy. While TV audiences across the country were bombarded with political ads, control of Congress hung in the balance; the Center tracked the candidates, political committees and nonprofits spending large sums of cash on key U.S. Senate races. The Center built news applications to track TV ad spending in all state-level races and ballot initiatives and, at the national level, U.S. Senate races.
The Center’s ongoing project Criminalizing Kids examines the use of law enforcement and courts to respond to kids’ conduct at school. The series provides crucial context to this week’s news that a South Carolina school police officer, Brian Fields, was caught on camera violently tossing a black student out of her desk, dragging her across the floor and placing her in handcuffs. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has announced that Senior Deputy Ben Fields has been fired.
The Center’s most-recent investigation into school referrals to law enforcement nationwide was produced in collaboration with Reveal and highlighted the story of then sixth-grader Kayleb Moon-Robinson – who is diagnosed as autistic – and his experiences with a school resource officer and the court system in Virginia. The story was updated months later as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe asked members of his cabinet to recommend policy changes.
Congratulations to all of the winners.