A nonprofit newsroom that covers immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota was chosen Thursday as the winner of Current’s annual Local that Works contest.
Sahan Journal, which was relaunched in 2019, received a $20,000 grand prize provided by the Wyncote Foundation.
“This really shows the work of our reporters,” said Mukhtar Ibrahim, founding executive director and editor of Sahan Journal, upon receiving the prize. “It’s for the community that trusts us with their stories. It’s for people who have been overlooked by the media for so many years, and we are really excited to be the winner.”
The annual contest, presented by Current and Public Media Futures, highlights projects at public broadcasting and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S. that are innovative, replicable and focused on content, engagement and revenue. Our searchable database includes projects submitted to the contest in previous years.
This year, the contest’s five finalists shared videos they produced about their projects in an online event hosted by 1A host Jenn White. The event’s attendees voted for the winner. Since 2017, Local that Works finalists had presented their projects at public media conferences, with winners receiving $5,000.
Sahan Journal reports on a wide range of immigrant communities in Minnesota, which are growing rapidly. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis actually showed the need for a publication that solely focuses on communities of color in Minnesota,” Ibrahim told White.
“We’re not just in the business of covering nice stories about immigrant communities or covering what you would expect,” said Sahan Journal reporter Hibah Ansari in the publication’s Local that Works video.
Judges chose this year’s Local that Works finalists from 133 submissions in August. The other finalists were:
Detroit Public TV for COVID313, a series of virtual townhalls and information services related to the pandemic.
KALW in San Francisco for Uncuffed, a podcast, radio series and audio training project for people incarcerated in California prisons.
Maine Public for The Learning Space, an online education tool for children ages 3 to 5 during the pandemic.
KQED in San Francisco for The California Reporting Project, a 40-newsroom collaboration to investigate police conduct.