The Las Vegas Sun is in very good company. The newspaper, as part of Columbia University’s latest Dart Awards, which recognize exemplary reporting on the effects of violence, crime, disaster and other traumatic events, is one of two 2014 winners, alongside Ira Glass’ This American Life. The awards will be presented May 8.
The editorial series that won the Sun its prize is heartbreaking. Titled “Grace Through Grief,” it details the aftermath of a home invasion suffered by the Martinez family, during which mom and daughter were killed, and dad was gravely injured:
Judges called “Grace Through Grief” a “deeply reported and inspiring portrayal of a family in the aftermath of horror.” They called Jackie Valley’s prose “exceptional” and Leila Navidi’s photographs “powerful” and “intimate without being disruptive.” They praised the series’ “creative subversiveness,” going far beyond conventional crime reporting in “bringing the reader on a journey of faith, fatherhood, recovery and resilience.” Judges also recognized the “careful restraint” used in bringing forward the perspectives of Arturo Martinez’s young sons.
The Sun series previously won a pair of EPPY Awards and was nominated for an Online News Association Award. This American Life won for “Harper High School: Parts I and II,” a two-part look at students, school staff and families dealing at one school with the impact of gun violence.
Honorable Dart mentions for 2014 went to the The New York Times Magazine and More magazine.