The Marshall Project Wins Two Sigma Awards for Data Journalism

The Marshall Project was honored for two of our recent projects by the prestigious Sigma Awards, which celebrate the best data journalism from around the world. In the “special project” category, journalists Nicole Lewis and Andrew R. Calderón were awarded for their investigation of the voter registration rates of former prisoners. Their groundbreaking work included an SMS survey, new 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 survey of voter registration rates is the kind of quietly innovative piece that sometimes goes unnoticed, so I’m delighted to see their work recognized in this way,” said David Eads, Data Editor at The Marshall Project.

The second Sigma Prize, in the “portfolio” category, recognizes data journalist Weihua Li for her contributions to the Marshall Project’s iconic stories. Since joining The Marshall Project three years ago, Li has used data to help readers understand the criminal justice system. His work on the crises unfolding in prisons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, police shootings in rural America, rising homicide rates, etc., have made his analysis of data more important than ever.

“Weihua’s recognition for his portfolio speaks to the importance of collaborative journalism. Instead of chasing after individual fame, she provided foundational data reports to several of the Marshall Project’s landmark stories,” said Susan Chira, Managing Editor of The Marshall Project. “It’s really exciting to see Weihua and our talented data reporting team honored for the amount of rigor and hard work they put in; it is so deserved.

The Sigma Awards jury, made up of more than 30 international experts, had this to say about the entries for the Marshall Project Award: “We have been blown away by the consistent excellence in data analysis and reporting, through a great variety of stories. The work challenges prevailing myths about crime and punishment, and empowers community members to use data to hold powerful people accountable. The Marshall Project’s efforts to create a community of inmates to center stories and experiences is an example for all of us.

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