The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service has won first place for “Best Solutions Project of the Year” in a national journalism contest for its reporting on the closing of the Lincoln Hill and Copper Lake youth prisons and the implications for Milwaukee.
Former NNS reporter Allison Dikanovic received a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network to travel to New York City to report this story. She visited two Close to Home youth justice facilities, two mentoring groups and met with various stakeholders in the system, including youths, parents, nonprofit organizations, advocates, researchers and city officials to learn about changes that New York made to its system.
The three-part series took top honors in the 2020 national LION Awards, which celebrate the best of independent online media across the U.S. and Canada.
Sponsored by the Local Independent Online News Publishers group, the awards were judged by 30 judges from across the industry who evaluated 169 entries from LION members.
“A very important project that was well executed,” the judges said. “A truly exceptional example of solutions journalism, taking a pressing local problem, and displaying how other communities have solved it. While it remains to be seen whether or not Wisconsin takes on the model, this work leaves decision-makers few excuses on how to build a better model.”
Housed in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, NNS is an independent nonprofit newsroom that emphasizes evidence-based journalism. Our staff is made up of professionals, student interns and a volunteer cohort from throughout Milwaukee who seek to tell the stories of the ordinary people who do extraordinary things in our neighborhoods.
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