Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting is pleased to announce that its reporting was honored with a Best of the West award and was a finalist for five National Headliner Awards. 

Lasting impact” – by Reveal, InvestigateWest and Oregon’s Pamplin Media Group – won first place in the audio storytelling category for the 2020 Best of the West awards, an annual journalism contest and grants program. Best of the West is regarded among the western United States’ most prestigious journalism awards competitions, with about 1,000 entries each year.

“Lasting impact” tells the story of Jonathan Boland, a talented young football player and charismatic team leader from an underdog high school on the edge of Portland, Oregon – and the larger story of loopholes in laws that are supposed to protect young people from concussions. It included an unprecedented journalistic effort to collect and analyze concussion reports from every public high school across Oregon, laying the groundwork for more accountability in youth sports programs.

The Best of the West judge wrote: “The quality of the editing and music selection adds to the strength of this disturbing reporting. Kids and football and concussions are a dangerous mix and the breadth of voices and stories here illuminate a larger narrative; one that is bigger than just sports. Expert storytelling all around, especially concerning elements particular to audio journalism.”

The judge praised the original score, by Reveal’s Jim Briggs and Fernando Arruda, and their sound design overall, saying, “The marking of the concussions with sound and music not only gives it a cinematic feel, but helps the narrative along.”  

Additionally, Reveal was a finalist for five National Headliner Awards. In the online investigative reporting and social media categories, “Amazon: Behind the smiles” won second place. “Prime Risk,” a related television segment produced in partnership with the PBS NewsHour, won third place in the category of investigative reporting for broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators. In the business and consumer reporting category for broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators, “How social casinos leverage Facebook user data to target vulnerable gamblers” won second place. Reveal’s “Homewreckers won third place in the category of broadcast radio networks and syndicators for documentary or public affairs.