The Times-Picayune wins National Press Foundation award for ‘Children of Central City’

“The Children of Central City,” a | The Times-Picayune multimedia series examining the long-term impact of trauma on New Orleans’ children, has won the National Press Foundation’s Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting.

Judges lauded the effort of journalists who for months followed a youth football team at A.L. Davis Park in Central city “to report on the devastating impact of exposure to unrelenting violence in their schools, their neighborhoods and their homes.” The series, judges said, married “scientific angles and the children’s personal stories, woven together with heart-wrenching narrative elements and visuals.”

“The Children of Central City” was produced by investigative reporters Jonathan Bullington and Richard Webster, photographer Brett Duke, videographer Emma Scott and digital strategist Haley Correll. It was created as a project for the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, a program of the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.

The National Press Foundation and The Luv u Project established the Carolyn C. Mattingly award in 2015 to honor the memory of the Maryland philanthropist and activist. The award “recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness.”

“We congratulate and thank our winners for their extraordinary body of work,” said C. Richard Mattingly, founder of The Luv u Project. “This team effort to document and vividly describe the importance of mental health, especially for children, is invaluable.”

Judges selected | The Times-Picayune from among 58 national entries. Honorable mentions went to HuffPost, for a story on rising suicide rates in the U.S., and to Univision, for reporting on trauma suffered by children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The award will be presented at a reception in Washington, D.C., on May 21.

“Children of Central City” has also recently won a national Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, awarded by the Dart Center at Columbia University’s Journalism School. The series also won first place regional awards by the Society of Professional Journalists and a third place award in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ national excellence contest.

Scott’s documentary short, “The Children of Central City,” made to accompany the series, was selected last fall to screen in the New Orleans Film Festival, and also in Washington, D.C., as part of the second annual “Meet the Press” Film Festival.

[This story was originally published by NOLA.COM.]