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The Marshall Project Wins Two Sigma Awards for Data Journalism

The Sigma Awards honor our work as some of the best data-driven projects from around the globe

The Marshall Project has been honored for two of our recent projects by the prestigious Sigma Awards, which celebrates the best data journalism from around the world. In the “special project” category, reporters Nicole Lewis and Andrew R. Calderón were awarded for their investigation of voter registration rates of formerly incarcerated people. Their groundbreaking work included a text message survey, novel analysis, compelling storytelling, and detailed methodology. The story was published in partnership with the Louisville Courier-Journal and USA Today Network.

“Nicole and Andrew’s investigation of voting registration rates is the sort of quietly innovative piece that sometimes flies under the radar, so I’m thrilled to see their work recognized in this way,” said David Eads, data editor at The Marshall Project.

The second Sigma Award, in the “portfolio” category, recognizes data reporter Weihua Li for her contributions toward The Marshall Project’s signature stories. Since joining The Marshall Project three years ago, Li has used data to help readers make sense of the criminal justice system. Her work on crises unfolding in jails due to the COVID-19 pandemic, police shootings in rural America, the surging homicide rate, and more have made her data analysis more important than ever.

“Weihua’s recognition for her portfolio is a testament to the importance of collaborative journalism. Instead of chasing individual glory, she contributed foundational data reporting to several of The Marshall Project’s signature stories,” said Susan Chira, editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. “It’s really exciting to see Weihua and our talented data reporting team honored for the amount of rigor and outstanding hard work they’ve put in; it’s so well-deserved.”

The Sigma Awards jury, with more than 30 international experts, said this about The Marshall Project’s award submissions: “We were blown away by the consistent excellence in data analysis and reporting, across a wide variety of stories. The work challenges mainstream myths about crime and punishment, and empowers community members to use the data to hold the powerful accountable. The Marshall Project’s efforts to create a community of the incarcerated in order to center stories and experiences is an example for us all.”