RTDNA Names 2020 Kaleidoscope Award Winners

September 8, 2020 11:00

RTDNA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Kaleidoscope Awards.

The Kaleidoscope Awards honor news organizations demonstrating a commitment to covering the diversity of the communities they serve and showcase journalistic excellence in covering issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity.

RTDNA is committed to increasing diversity in newsrooms, encouraging coverage of diverse communities and demonstrating the value of bringing diverse voices to the table.
AJ ContrastDigital
Still Here
AJ Contrast, Al Jazeera Digital

AJ Contrast is Al Jazeera Digital’s Emmy-nominated immersive storytelling and media innovation studio. AJ Contrast’s all-women team hails from different backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the Al Jazeera Media Network – one of the largest, most diverse, global operations broadcasting news. Still Here is AJ Contrast’s most recent immersive multimedia project about incarceration and gentrification in the US, which was launched in August 2019 and later showcased at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

The project explores incarceration, erasure and gentrification in the US. The story is told through a composite character named Jasmine Smith who returns home to her Harlem, NYC neighborhood after being locked up for 15 years. Her narrative is based on real life experiences and was crafted in collaboration with nine formerly incarcerated women from the Women’s Prison Association (WPA). Still Here comprises three components – interactive VR, audio with AR and a photo gallery.       
Fronteras DeskLocal Radio
Tracing the Migrant Journey
KJZZ Fronteras Desk
KJZZ’s Fronteras Desk helped to spearhead the coverage of diverse communities in the U.S., and developed a mission of focusing on under-served and under-reported news deserts. Since 2016, the Fronteras Desk has expanded its focus beyond U.S. borders and into Mexico, the nation’s largest trading partner and the lifeblood of its immigration flow.

In Journey, KJZZ's Fronteras Desk reporting team joined migrants as they traveled thousands of miles to reach the U.S. This multi-part series put reporters on the ground from Honduras to Portland, Maine, to document the challenges migrants face on their trek through Central America, Mexico and the U.S.
The WorldNetwork Radio
400 Years           
The World, PRX

The World’s newsroom looks for stories that connect American listeners with events, ideas and cultures beyond our borders. Rupa Shenoy’s “400 Years” series allowed the program to examine the origins of institutional racism in the Americas and — through the voices of people in Brazil, Ghana, and the US — to appreciate some of the enduring legacy of slavery.

Our 400-year series for the first time told the stories of academics who are descended from both enslaved people and slave traders, who are trying to come to terms with history and their identity. It broke news of the first major effort to make information about slave history more accessible, because most of it has been behind costly paywalls. The stories explored the diversity of experiences of African Americans visiting former slave trade sites, and how Africans themselves are still coming to terms with the roles their ancestors played. In all, the series showed how the slave trade connected Africa to the rest of the world, and how those connections are still having an impact today.
DC Stories

Xander is a non-binary child. Antony, Isabella and Angela were snatched from their native land. 76-year old Vashti Sherrod went to jail for an alleged crime that never really happened.  In a city like D.C.,  where the comings and goings of government make headlines around the world, the experiences of these five individuals might get lost; becoming invisible to the collective. That’s why WUSA9 uses its lens to shed light on their stories and to ensure that they are seen.

There is no clearer example than the Don’t Mute DC movement. Go-Go music arose from our city streets at a time when the population here was predominately African American. The percussive music is directly associated with the culture.  When a new luxury condo owner requested the music blaring through his neighborhood be turned off—it sparked a district-wide debate over diversity and gentrification, which we followed turn by turn.  From data driven stories to humanitarian deep dives, WUSA9 has pledged to tell stories differently and from new perspectives.            
CBS Family SeparationNetwork TV
Faces of Family Separation
48 Hours, CBS News

Immigration is a classic American story, and it often plays out in controversial ways. However, the policies implemented by the Trump administration starting in the spring of 2018 resonated in ways few could recall. The policy was dubbed “Zero Tolerance”, and its immediate impact was to separate hundreds of children from their parents.

Through the vivid, emotional stories of 4 families, we set out to paint a picture of today’s immigrant journey from Central America to the US southern border, and portray how this new U.S. policy played out through these families’ experiences.
Hear from this year's winners: