Michigan Radio’s Believed podcast has been awarded its first Dart Award from the prestigious Columbia School of Journalism. The Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma recognizes outstanding reporting in all media that portrays traumatic events and their aftermath with accuracy, insight and sensitivity while illuminating the effects of violence and tragedy on victims’ lives.
Episodes 6 & 7 of the series entitled, “The Parents” and “What Have You Done?” were selected as outstanding examples in the reporting of traumatic events. The awarding judges said of Believed, “[It is] a gripping tale that resonates far beyond this particular story.”
One of the series’ strongest elements highlighted by the Dart judges was the sense of relationship between the reporters and their subjects, citing the “enormous trust” that had been developed. Survivors and their parents felt secure enough to “reveal their deepest regrets and vulnerabilities” to these journalists which ultimately led to stronger storytelling. Judges called the series “incredibly in-depth” and praised the Michigan Radio podcast as “stellar,” “intimate” and “profound.”
Also honored with a Dart Award this year were NOLA.com/The Times Picayune for “The Children of Central City,” a multimedia project that tells the story of children from one neighborhood in New Orleans and the profound impacts of poverty, violence and trauma on their lives. Both winners will be recognized at a public ceremony and winners’ roundtable on May 1 at 5:30pm at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
The Believed podcast series from Michigan Radio and NPR provided an intimate look at how a team of female survivors, detectives, and prosecutors won justice in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. It was developed from the over two years of coverage of the case completed by Michigan Radio reporters. Believed was an exploration of the other side of this national scandal, that of the survivors and their families.
2019 marks the 25th Annual Dart Awards from the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. Since 1994 the awards have recognized exemplary journalism on the impact of violence, crime and other traumatic events on individuals, families and communities. The Dart Awards are open to newspaper, magazine, online, radio, television, video and multimedia journalism from North America that goes beyond the ordinary in reporting on trauma.