Outlet: Carlsbad Current-Argus
Journalist: Taryn Walker
Tags: cops, reporting
An interview with a 6-year-old victim of a drive-by shooting won the January DFMie for the Texas/New Mexico cluster for Taryn Walker of the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
Cluster Editor Bob Moore explained the story in his nomination:
Drive-by shootings are seen as a big city problem, but they occur in small towns, too. When a child was shot in such a crime in Carlsbad, the Current-Argus used Facebook and Twitter to quickly update the community, then followed the story with text and video.
Judges applauded the result:
What a riveting interview with a six-year-old. Little Emma is a voice for the voiceless — other innocent six-year-olds, on the other side of the country, who were also shot but didn’t survive to tell their story. Walker clearly succeeded in creating a sense of rapport and trust, so that Emma and her family felt comfortable sharing their experience in front of a camera. No small feat. (p.s. Love the photo.)
In the article, Walker’s matter-of-fact recounting of the incident added to its impact – an ordinary sleep turned nightmarish by an out-of-nowhere bullet. (Also: Useful to read that arrests had been made.) It is a great glimpse of the collateral and unintended damage caused by our relationship with firearms. The video was compelling because it shows where the bullet landed in Emma’s room – and her recount of that night. Seeing and hearing the six-year-old describe what happened physically — and how it impacted her, emotionally — was heartbreaking.
Other finalists in the Tex/Mex cluster were James Staley of the Las Cruces Sun-News for a story about the boom in concealed-weapon permits and Jenny Kane of the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., for a story about the impact of the Indian Child Welfare Act on adoptions of Navajo children.