Matt Artz of the Oakland Tribune wins the May DFMie for the Bay Area News Group for his story on Oakland being the “robbery capital of America.”
A judge explained why Artz is a winner:
What hooked me on the Artz story was the gumshoe approach to an enterprise story no one else had done. Like so many good stories, this one started up close and personal: A neighbor was robbed at gunpoint, and a reporter turned vulnerability into curiosity and coverage.
Artz did the legwork to find that muggings and robberies are not only a way of life for Oakland residents, but they are a way of life more in Oakland than anywhere else in the nation.
His coverage had all the bases covered – vital statistics, real victims and real people, reasons and trends and changes, inability of police to handle the situation, photos, facts boxes and the requisite tips on preventing yourself (as best as possible) from becoming a victim.
Good work on an problem that impacts way too many in his city.
‘Oakland: Robbery capital of America’ is one of those stories that can, and likely will, change lives. The reporter used great instincts and determination to nail down what he sensed what a very important story. I like how he applied his reporter instincts to a real-life situation (his neighbor getting robbed). This reporter did not wait to be handed the assignment. He realized if he felt scared of robbery, everyone else probably is as well. Would like to see a little more social media conversation on the topic to accompany the article (and perhaps that happened outside the scope of my reading). This effort will likely apply the correct pressure on the people in charge to motivate the change necessary to reduce crime and improve lives. Well done!