“North Texas Tornadoes – Total Devastation”
The Dallas Morning News wins for its coverage of a dozen tornadoes that struck Dec. 26, killing 11 people and leaving an estimated $1.2 billion in damage to communities stretching across 55 miles. The News sprang into action the moment the twisters hit with a robust online presence that included user-generated videos and photos and citizens’ tweets. And the eventual overall presentation of the story was thorough and sophisticated, featuring compelling human angles, watchdog material on how not to get taken by contractors, information on how those affected could seek aid, aerial photos and video of the destruction, and an interactive that used a slider bar to enable readers to compare Google Earth images before the tornadoes with photos taken after the destruction. The News’ performance provides a textbook example of how to cover a big story in a way that informs, illuminates and performs an important service to the audience it serves.
Director of Top Stories, Associated Press
New York, New York
Kristin Gazlay is Director of Top Stories for The Associated Press, based in New York. She has been a managing editor for the AP, and also served as news editor for the AP in London, assistant managing editor for enterprise in New York and in various capacities in domestic AP bureaus. Among the stories she has overseen are the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, the death of Princess Diana and the historic Northern Ireland peace agreement. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.
To see an aggregation of The Dallas Morning News’ prize-winning coverage, select the link below.