Oklahoma Watch multimedia reporter Whitney Bryen’s series on domestic violence was awarded first place in online project in the regional Great Plains Journalism Awards.
A data journalist doing work for Oklahoma Watch, Jesse Howe, was a finalist in multimedia graphic or project for his visualization of vaccination rates at public schools statewide.
The contest included entries from news outlets in eight states.
Bryen’s series, “Shallow Justice”, which was published last year, revealed gaps in the criminal justice system that can hinder efforts to protect many women who suffer from domestic abuse.
Among Bryen’s findings were how judges give repeated chances to convicted abusers who fail to finish court-ordered intervention programs; that the state has collected inconsistent data on these intervention programs, and how prosecution is uneven across the state in cases where a victim won’t testify. Another story examined the widespread occurrence of domestic strangulation and its role as an indicator of escalating violence that can lead to death.