First place: Staff, The Providence Journal
About this entry: The Providence Journal’s year-long service project, “Race in Rhode Island,” was a multi-part series covering all facets of race in the Ocean State. Its online presence included a vast array of visualized data, like a historical redlining map that could be overlaid with the current locations of highways and modern neighborhoods, and videos that were specially produced for the project.
Read online: Race in Rhode Island, Map: Which state ranks dead last in minority home ownership?, History of discrimination led to housing segregation in R.I., Race in R.I.: Since the days of Roger Williams, Native Americans have suffered one devastating blow after another, Race in R.I.: Voices of reason on the harshest of epithets, R.I. House SPeaker Mattiello: ‘I don’t think there is a white privilege’, Worlds apart: Whites and minorities in R.I. live separately and unequally
Race in Rhode Island is an important project about the indelible mark of racism in Providence — a serious topic made visual and visceral through videos and interactive maps.
Second place: Chris Kaergard and Michael Anthony Noel, Journal Star
About this entry: “When the state’s Legislature failed to pass a budget as scheduled by May 31, 2015, political reporter/columnist Chris Kaergard was working to find a way to represent the length of the potential stalemate and its effect on agencies around our community.
So he stopped shaving.
The resulting growth has been an easy visual representation for readers on our website and through social media of the longevity of the impasse. Through a series of tweets utilizing the hashtag #BudgetBeard, Kaergard has engaged on Twitter with policymakers and citizens alike about news on negotiations, cuts and layoffs that have come because of the budget disputes. A digital timeline allows readers to follow major news in state government, leavened with photos of politicians reacting to Kaergard’s beard. Staff graphic artist Michael Anthony Noel crafted a series of memes designed to be shared via Twitter and Facebook, featuring Kaergard in a Santa Claus costume delivering humorous takes on the situation and referring readers to the timeline and other budget-related content on our site.” — Adam Gerik, assistant managing editor – digital
Check it out: Budget Beard
On first look, “Budget Beard” seems like an oddball – if not downright goofy – idea. But in execution, it’s remarkably powerful. The reader experiences the passage of time visually, while the repercussions of the state’s inability to pass a budget grow and grow and grow ….
Third place: Greg Bryant, K.C. Myers and Linda Corcoran, The Cape Cod Times
About this entry: “Cape Cod is the #1 spot in the U.S. for drug overdoses. HBO recently produced a full documentary about the crisis but we’ve had them beat for years as we’ve told the stories of those who’ve been battling addictions to opioids. In 2015, we created an online project called Lost to Addiction that feature vignettes and profiles of Cape Codders who died due to drugs. We work closely with their families to tell these sensitive and compelling stories. We also used graphic tools to come up with brilliantly colorful and informative interactive graphics to help folks understand the probs. These stories that folks have accessed through our web page (they also appear monthly in print) constantly soar to the tops of our Parsely metrics when they appear. We also use metrics to find people to profile, often times obits show up at the top of traffic. Our readers tell us this is one of the most important projects the Times has ever done.
Additionally, we use graphics for other interactive projects like reporting student MCAS scores and other news events like snowstorms and ticks.” — Jason Kolnos, project nominator