“Kids or Criminals: Growing Up and Getting Out”


Recipient of the Joint Competition: TAPB and TAPME 
Best Online Package award in The Charles E. Green Awards (2015)

Jennifer Emily and Diane Jennings
The Dallas Morning News


Judge’s Comments:

The “Kids or Criminals” series is an excellent example of using digital tools to tell effective stories. The project combined effective reporting and writing with a wide range of digital skills in telling and presenting the stories: Video, audio, graphics, an interactive “You Be the Judge” feature. Each digital tool employed helped tell a story more effectively. And the foundation was a strong story, thoroughly reported. In each case, the reader/viewer/listener could understand why the crime merited a strong response, yet each story also made you wonder whether this was the best way to respond to crimes by kids so young. Excellent work all the way around.

Steve Buttry
Director of Student Media
Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Steve Buttry is Director of Student Media at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He has been practicing and teaching journalism for more than 40 years. He was named Editor of the Year in 2010 by Editor & Publisher magazine for his work as editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. He was Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media and has been an editor, reporter and writing coach for seven U.S. newspapers. He was Director of Community Engagement for TBD.com and worked at the American Press Institute for three years.

Buttry has pursued his journalism career in 44 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Siberia and Venezuela.

Buttry is a graduate of Texas Christian University and a member of the Hall of Excellence at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication. He has trained several hundred journalists and media executives in more than 20 visits to Texas newsrooms, universities, conferences and seminars.

His blog, The Buttry Diary, has been named one of the 10 best blogs on the future of the news business, and he has been honored by the Poynter Institute and Quill magazine for his leadership in social media. Buttry and his wife, Mimi Johnson, author of the journalism novel Gathering String, have three grown sons and two granddaughters.

Kids or Criminals: Growing Up and Getting Out

Headliners Foundation