L.A. Times Wins Four Top Prizes in National Awards for Education Reporting

The Times won Best Visual Storytelling (large newsroom) for "Surrounded."
The Times won the award for Best Visual Storytelling for “Surrounded,” a series that examined the devastating and costly impact of close-up violence on students, schools and communities.
(Marcus Yam)

The Los Angeles Times took home four top awards in the Education Writers Association’s 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting contest, with entries that focused on teacher strikes, violence in neighborhoods surrounding schools and more. The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony on July 21.

Among the honors, Education Reporter Sonali Kohli won in the Beat Reporting (large newsroom) category and also took home the Ronald Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting.

The judges noted that Kohli “didn’t paint a typical picture of how kids are all suffering in the tough streets or one of overcoming all odds. She told a truer tale of the complicated ups and downs teenagers face as they try to navigate their world. And she did it with utter grace.”

In addition, Kohli, along with reporters Howard Blume and Ruben Vives, won in the Single Topic News category for their coverage on the Los Angeles teachers strike.

The Times also received top honors in Best Visual Storytelling (large newsroom) for Surrounded: Killings Near School, and the Students Left Behind, a five-part series that included the work of Kohli, Photographer Marcus Yam, and Data and Graphics Journalists Iris Lee and Priya Krishnakumar.


The competition’s judges called the entry “a top-notch combination of so many journalistic forms.” The comments continued, “Innovative data analysis and visualizations paired with rich, empathetic reporting and photography helped create this exceptional, yet sobering examination of the toll students suffer when they are surrounded by death and violence.”

The Times’ Anna M. Phillips was a finalist, recognized in the Public Service category for her series on California charter schools.

The full list of winners and judges’ comments can be found at: