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“We Are Witnesses” Wins the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma

The Marshall Project’s groundbreaking video series recognized for its “innovative approach to storytelling”

We Are Witnesses,” The Marshall Project’s series of 19 short films depicting the huge and tragic toll of the criminal justice system, was named a winner of the 2018 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma earlier this week.

“Employing the highest standards of video production, ‘We Are Witnesses’ captures the enormity of the jail-court-prison complex, while keeping an intense focus on the individual lives affected and provoking dialogue around criminal justice reform,” the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma wrote. Judges praised its “innovative” approach to storytelling, exploring “multifaceted trauma” from “many different angles,” and “refusing cliché at every level.”

We Are Witnesses

Intimate portraits of people who have been touched by the criminal justice system

Created by Neil Barsky, founder of The Marshall Project, and directed by Jenny Carchman, “We Are Witnesses” premiered on October 26, 2017 in partnership with The New Yorker, Condé Nast Entertainment, and Participant Media. A rare 360-degree portrait of crime and punishment in America today, the video series has been viewed millions of times and has become the centerpiece of an ongoing series of public events.

A project of Columbia Journalism School, the Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma have been granted since 1994 and recognize “exemplary journalism on the impact of violence, crime and other traumatic events on individuals, families and communities.”

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The Marshall Project produces journalism that makes an impact. Our investigation into violence using police dogs prompted departments from Indiana to Louisiana to change their policies. Thousands of cameras were installed in the infamous Attica prison after we revealed the extent of violent abuse by guards. Municipalities stopped charging parents for their kids’ incarceration because of our reporting. Supreme Court justices have cited us, along with incarcerated people acting as their own lawyers.

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