Family homelessness report earns two awards

July 27, 2011

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Two awards have been given to a reporting project in which the College of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Strategic Communications was integrally involved. The project—The Seattle Times’ “Invisible Families” series on family homelessness—grew out of a 2010 journalism fellowship at the center that was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

“Invisible Families” earned the Associated Press Managing Editors 2011 Journalism Excellence Award in the Online Convergence category for reporting that makes effective use of both print and online media. “With digital tools and partnerships,” the Times series “elevated the issue of homeless families and their particularly painful struggles,” the judges said. The series received an honorable mention in competition with projects at other large newspapers across the nation. 

The series also won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism in the Multimedia category for the online presentation of “Invisible Families.” The Casey Medal is given by the Journalism Center on Children & Families at the University of Maryland, College Park. “The project, packaged in an easily navigable Web presentation, is filled with beautifully told stories in text, video and photos of an important topic: the day-to-day challenges facing homeless families,” the judges wrote. 

It was announced this month that the Center For Strategic Communications has received a second grant from the Gates Foundation to continue and evolve the center’s Project on Family Homelessness. The new $180,327 grant will support media projects, public forums, arts performances and community partnerships that explore and illuminate stories of the thousands of Washington families who are homeless.