Inequality, misinformation and holding the powerful accountable are common themes in the journalism produced by the finalists for the 69th Scripps Howard Awards. This year, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of journalists whose relentless reporting exposed previously undisclosed or misunderstood information.
The Scripps Howard Awards judges – a panel of veteran journalists and media leaders – selected the 2021 finalists from more than 800 entries across 15 categories, with a focus on high-impact journalism.
The Scripps Howard Foundation will present $170,000 in prize money to the winning news organizations and journalists. The winners will be announced June 12 during a special program airing at 8 p.m. ET on Newsy, the national news network owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).
This year’s show will highlight the year’s most compelling stories.
“The Scripps Howard Awards showcase incredible, life-changing journalism,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “This year’s show will take the American public behind the scenes with some of our nation’s most dedicated journalists and up close with the people impacted by their work. It will be a night to remember.”
The 2021 finalists are:
Excellence in Coverage of Breaking News Houston Chronicle – “Astroworld” NBC News – Richard Engel's Reporting on the “Taliban's Takeover of Afghanistan” The Tennessean – “The Floods of Waverly”
Excellence in Broadcast Local Coverage, honoring Jack R. Howard KNTV-NBC Bay Area (San Jose) – “The Moms of Magnolia Street” KUSA-TV and KARE-TV – “Prone” WTVF-NewsChannel 5 (Nashville) – “Gideon’s Army”
Excellence in Broadcast National/International Coverage, honoring Jack R. Howard 48 Hours/CBS News – “What Happened to the Perfect Child?” ABC News – “Blindsided/Out of Bounds” CBS News – “Behind the Badge”
Excellence in Business/Financial Reporting FRONTLINE (PBS) and The New York Times – “Boeing’s Fatal Flaw” The California Newsroom, KRCB and KQED – “Bankrupt” ProPublica – “The Secret IRS Files”
Excellence in Environmental Reporting, honoring Edward W. “Ted” Scripps II Los Angeles Times – “Extreme Heat’s Deadly Toll” ProPublica, The Texas Tribune and Mountain State Spotlight – “Sacrifice Zones: Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution” The Coloradoan, The Arizona Republic, The Desert Sun and The Spectrum – “Draining the Forests”
Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, honoring Edward Willis Scripps KQED and NPR – “On Our Watch” Miami Herald and ProPublica – “Birth & Betrayal” The Arizona Republic – “Democracy in Doubt”
Excellence in Human Interest Storytelling, honoring Ernie Pyle Los Angeles Times – “Disease, Inequity and Resilience in South L.A.” The Boston Globe – “Under the Wheel” The Wall Street Journal – “Abandoned at Sea”
Excellence in Innovation, honoring Roy W. Howard The Markup – “Citizen Browser” The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica – “Black Snow: Big Sugar’s Burning Problem” The Outlaw Ocean Project – “The Outlaw Ocean Music Project”
Excellence in Local/Regional Investigative Reporting Miami Herald – “House of Cards” Nashville Public Radio's WPLN News and ProPublica – “Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge” The Arizona Republic – “Democracy in Doubt”
Excellence in National/International Investigative Reporting, the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize ICIJ, The Washington Post and media partners – “Pandora Papers” The Wall Street Journal – “The Facebook Files” The New York Times – “Airstrikes Gone Wrong”
Excellence in Multimedia Journalism Bloomberg News – “The Vaccine Rollout” Frontline (PBS) – “Un(re)solved” The New York Times – “Inside the Capitol Riot”
Excellence in Opinion Writing Detroit Free Press – Opinion Writing by Nancy Kaffer San Francisco Chronicle – City Hall Columnist Heather Knight The Boston Globe – Columnist Jeneé Osterheldt
Excellence in Radio/Podcast Coverage, honoring Jack R. Howard Latino USA – “Mississippi River” NBC News – “Southlake” The Washington Post – “Four Hours of Insurrection”
Excellence in Visual Journalism STAT – “DISTANCED: Pandemic Stories of Black Life in the Rural South” Los Angeles Times – “Sorrow and Defiance: Under Taliban Rule, Afghan Women Navigate a Landscape of Loss” The Associated Press – “The Cost of War”
Teacher of the Year
Dr. Nicole Kraft – The Ohio State University School of Communication
Dr. Nicole Smith Dahmen – University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
Administrator of the Year
David Boardman – Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication
You can watch the Scripps Howard Awards on Newsy free through a digital antenna, streaming devices, video platforms, smart televisions and mobile. For information on where to watch Newsy over-the-air in your city, visit Newsy’s website.
The Scripps Howard Foundation is the corporate foundation of the E. W. Scripps Company, the parent company of this station.