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Pulitzer Center Update May 14, 2021

Grantee Wins Award for Project on German, U.S. Schools Amid Pandemic

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How did Germany reopen schools compared to the United States, and with cases ticking back up in...

In the foreground, a white face mask sits on a school desk along with a pencil case and other supplies. In the blurred background, a group of young schoolchildren sit and talk together in a classroom.
A mask sits on a desk at a primary school in Weimar, Germany. Students are required to wear masks in the hallways and on the playground but not while sitting in class. If coronavirus cases increase in the community or are found in the school, then tighter restrictions are implemented. Image by Ryan Delaney. Germany, 2020.

The RIAS Berlin Commission awarded grantee Ryan Delaney the 2021 RIAS Media Award prize for “best fellow” for his Pulitzer Center-supported project, How Germany Reopened Its Schools During a Pandemic. Delaney was a RIAS fellow in 2019.

Starting in late 2020, the St. Louis Public Radio reporter documented Germany’s handling of schools amid the pandemic and contrasted it with the situation in the United States, where the issue became highly politicized and many schools remained closed due to a high number of COVID-19 cases.

“He spoke with a kindergarten teacher in Cologne, a father in Berlin, a high school student in Bonn and many others,” the jury said. “He took us into the classrooms to see the impact of the decisions on education and health of an entire generation.”

The RIAS awards are given to American and German journalists who have “implemented extraordinary ideas on transatlantic or mutually interesting topics with high-quality reporting,” the announcement reads. A ceremony to honor winners will be held in Berlin in November.

Click here to see the full list of 2021 RIAS award winners.
 

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