AJC’s ‘Dangerous Dwellings’ series honored with national award

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

“Dangerous Dwellings,” the recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution series that revealed unsafe and unsanitary conditions in hundreds of apartment complexes across the Atlanta region, has been honored in a national journalism competition.

The series, written by investigative reporters Alan Judd and Willoughby Mariano, received a silver medal in the 2022 Bartlett & Steele Awards, presented by the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The award is named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Don Barlett and Jim Steele.

Other top winners in the competition’s Regional/Local category were the StarTribune of Minneapolis, which won the gold award, and a joint entry from the Palm Beach Post and ProPublica, which won bronze.

The competition’s judges praised the depth of the Journal-Constitution’s investigation, which showed how lax security, deferred maintenance, governmental inertia and weak tenant-protection laws combined to trap residents in substandard apartment complexes where they are menaced by crime, rats, mold and other threats.

“Through a three-part series with character-driven stories, extensive data analysis, damning photos, and investigating more than 1,000 apartment complexes across five counties, the AJC’s story found that much of the region’s affordable housing is nearly uninhabitable,” the Reynolds Center said in a news release announcing the award.