Four Pulitzer Center projects have been nominated for 2018 Online Journalism Awards, including work published by Foreign Policy, The Texas Tribune, and ICFJ.
Foreign Policy's feature "Europe Slams Its Gates" has been named as one of the three medium newsroom feature finalists. For this project, Ty McCormick, Cameron Abadi, Peter Tinti, Nichole Sobecki, and Jill Filipovic investigated the impact of European "pay-to-stay" policies, which pour millions of dollars into African border control, state-building, and counter-terrorism efforts in the hopes of limiting future migration. They explored whether these policies were actually addressing the root causes of the migrant crisis, or simply exporting the ugly side of immigration control. To answer these questions, the team at Foreign Policy followed the migrant trail from Mali to Niger and through Libya.
"The Taking," which is part of the Pulitzer Center project "Border Fence Land Grab" produced as a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, is one of the three finalists for The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism by a Small or Medium Newsroom. T. Christian Miller from ProPublica, and Kiah Collier and Julián Aguilar from The Texas Tribune worked together to delve into 436 open eminent domain disputes over land the government used to build the first border fence in 2007. They uncovered that Homeland Security has yet to compensate many of the landowners fairly, and that landowners wealthy enough to afford lawyers were offered as much as three times more than landowners who could not.
With the help of the Pulitzer Center, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists joined more than 95 other media partners to examine a data cache of 13.4 million files called the "Paradise Papers" leaked from offshore law firms and companies based in the world's most secretive countries. They uncovered how elite politicians, major companies, and the very wealthy are evading taxes and protecting their wealth. Now, their effort is being recognized; the collaborative investigation has been named one of the OJA finalists for Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships.
The Pulitzer Center grantee project "Digging Into the Mining Arc" has been named among the finalists for the The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award for a Small Newsroom. Bram Ebus, Stefano Wrobleski, and Gustavo Falieros worked together to investigate the socioeconomic and environmental impact of the rapid expansion of largely state-run, and often military-managed, mining in Venezuela. They uncovered the eploitation of the Venezualan indigenous population, illegal armed groups trafficking gold and other resources, and informal mining operations whose workers are stricken with malaria.
The Online Journalism Awards (OJAs) have recognized excellence in digital journalism since 2000. They are administered by the Online News Association which is a nonprofit comprised of digital journalists, students, academics, and technologists who are working together to promote the innovative use of technology to tell stories. After 132 industry leaders reviewed the submissions from last May, the OJA recently announced the finalists which include four Pulitzer Center projects.
There are more than 25 judges with a diverse background in digital journalism currently working together to choose the winners who will receive $58,500 in prize money. They will announce the winners at the Online News Association Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on September 15 in Austin, Texas.