Data journalism scores a Pulitzer
This year's Pulitzer jury has once more shown a keen attention for innovative applications and approaches to journalism. The investigative journalism award went to Paige St. John, from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (By Guido Romeo).
This year's Pulitzer jury has once more shown a keen attention for innovative applications and approaches to journalism. The investigative journalism award went to Paige St. John, from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for her wonderful work exposing the weakness of insurance contracts in Florida putting the assets of million of homeowners at risk.
St. John put two years of work in this investigation producing a great series of stories as well as a unique database that turns out to be an essential resource for understanding what insurance companies are actually doing.
This resource has been given even more added value by the Herald's interactive applications () showing the local risk of different hurricane exposed areas and the differences among contracts.
The context of the investigation is striking for those not familiar with the US home insurance market. In the last five years (in spite of the lack of significant hurricanes) Florida's policy on insurance companies has taken many different stances but the most significant fact is the 350% rise in the pricing of contracts on the coast and the cancellation of more than two million policies. As a consequence, thousands of homeowners are relying on state insurance agencies that many believ too weal to confront a real disaster, leaving many without compensation.
The prize assigned at St John is not only very much deserved, but also stands as a wonderful example of how high quality journalism, digital media and innovation can produce very valuable content able to attract a high readership and affimr the brand of a media.
Last but not least, kudos to ProPublica for its second Pulitzer in two years (and the 18th for its Director )