The 27th annual Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma were held in New York on Thursday, 30 September. The awards recognise 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. This year in recognition of the exceptional challenges posed by the pandemic to journalists, news organisations and the journalism community, the center also recognised Outstanding Coverage of the Covid-19 Crisis.
“The Dart Center is proud to be at the forefront of journalism and innovation and over the years has risen to meet so many challenges and crises; this year, the center has reinvented its work on Zoom, reaching directly into newsrooms worldwide. Through all these changes, the Dart Center and the awards have never deviated from that initial core commitment: compassion, ethics and scientifically informed reporting”, said Jim Lammers, Chair of the Dart Container Corporation and Board of Directors, during his introduction to this year’s broadcast.
Dart invited members of the Cayman Islands community who work in the field of trauma to attend the Awards virtually. Members of local news media, healthcare professionals, non-profit organisations and civil servants who deal regularly with trauma, were provided with a digital link to view the awards’ live stream.
“There is an increasing significance to trauma aware journalism and a critical need to ensure this storytelling is compassionate and innovative. Never has the balance of insight and sensitivity been more important, as we continue to navigate the impacts of the pandemic on the economic and mental health of Cayman’s society,” shared Pilar Bush, Dart’s executive vice president of marketing. “We are pleased to be able to once again share the work of the Dart Center locally and hope to have both inspired and supported those working in this challenging field.”
In April 2020, Dart facilitated a virtual conversation between members of the Cayman Islands news media and Bruce Shapiro, a leading expert on the occupational health of journalists and executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia Journalism School.
This year’s awards were presented to Gimlet and Spotify for “Shake the Room,” the Anchorage Daily News with ProPublica for “Unheard,” and the Associated Press for “Lives Lost”. Honourable mentions were awarded to the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) for their coverage of George Floyd’s murder, TIME for “Contagion of Fear,” and Univision News Digital for “Trapped in Mexico.”
The Dart Awards were established in 1994 and are administered by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, based at the Columbia Journalism School. The Dart Awards are a team prize, recognising that presenting in-depth journalism on these challenging subjects requires a newsroom-wide commitment. The Dart Awards consider entries from across the media spectrum, including newspaper, radio, online, multimedia, film and video. The awards’ jury comprises journalists, educators and mental health professionals.