The Marshall Project has been honored with two National Magazine Awards, or Ellies, for best website and digital innovation. This is the second year in a row that the news organization has won for best website.
“We’re beyond thrilled that we’ve won two Ellie awards this year—it’s a tribute to our remarkable staff, small in numbers but large in ambition,” said Susan Chira, editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project.
Our submissions for best website showcased the breadth of our work in 2019, including our data analysis exploding the myth that undocumented immigrants drive crime, our exposé on gangs running a Mississippi prison, our feature on a veteran’s struggle with the traumatic brain injury he suffered while incarcerated and an interactive primer on 2020 Democratic candidates’ positions on key criminal justice issues. A highlight of 2019 was also the launch of News Inside, a print magazine designed for incarcerated readers, to tackle the country’s largest news desert—the one behind bars.
“Detained,” by Emily Kassie, won the Ellie for digital innovation. Published in partnership with the Guardian, this ambitious multimedia feature combined documentary film and interactive data visualizations to illuminate how, over the past four decades, the United States created the largest immigrant detention system in the world.
“The largely untold origins of immigrant detention in America forces us to grapple with a critical moment in this country’s history,” Kassie said. “We are so honored to have the Ellies recognize this piece and the incredible team who worked tirelessly on it.”
The Marshall Project also contributed to a special issue of The Washington Post Magazine, “Prison,” which won the category of single-topic issue. The first-person essay by James Baimbridge (as told to Beatrix Lockwood), “My GPS-Tracked Life on Parole,” explored life under electronic surveillance. Marshall Project staff writer Keri Blakinger and contributing writer John J. Lennon also contributed to the issue, which was written, illustrated and photographed by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
The Ellies honor excellence in print and digital media, and are run by the American Society of Magazine Editors. The Marshall Project has now won four Ellies since its founding in 2014, including General Excellence in 2017. The awards were presented during a virtual ceremony on Thursday.