Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP’s deep dive into homelessness in one small Oregon town sets up critical Supreme Court case

Kevin Reeves looks at his puppy while in his tent in Baker Park, March 21, 2024, in Grants Pass, Ore. AP PHOTO / JENNY KANE

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Portland, Oregon’s reporter Claire Rush and chief photographer Jenny Kane explored the homeless crisis in Grants Pass ahead of a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court case.

Rush began tracking the case last year after Grants Pass sought to fine or jail homeless individuals for camping in city parks, a move blocked by an appeals court ruling. Rush spent four months earning the trust of Grants Pass officials, gaining unique insights into the community.

In a comprehensive three-day visit, she attended a City Council meeting, joined protests and visited homeless encampments. Rainy weather complicated her and Kane’s efforts. Kane’s drone visuals contrasted peaceful townscapes with the stark reality of encampments.

Rush learned that other news organizations were also pursuing interviews in Grants Pass so Rush and Kane moved quickly to get the story published. The piece performed well, staying in the Top 10 most-viewed stories on APNews for a day and featuring prominently on Google News.

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