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Inside The Markup

The Markup Wins Two SND Best of News Design Awards

The global contest recognizes excellence in visual storytelling, design, and journalism

Collage of the three lead illustrations from the stories that won the 2022 SND Awards.
From left: Gabriel Hongsdusit, Gabriel Hongsdusit and Joel Eastwood, Gabriel Hongsdusit

The Markup won multiple awards in the Society for News Design’s Best of News Design Creative Competition, which honors excellence in visual storytelling, design, and journalism produced in 2022.

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The Markup’s investigation “Dollars to Megabits, You May Be Paying 400 Times As Much As Your Neighbor for Internet Service” has won a bronze medal in the investigative infographics category.

Judges said: “The overall design compliments the power of impactful storytelling! A beautiful blend of facts and emotions is seamlessly woven together. Kudos to this small newsroom for delivering an exceptional visual narrative that truly captivates.”

The investigation is the culmination of an eight-month effort that began when Markup reporters Leon Yin and Aaron Sankin set out to see what speeds and prices internet service providers were offering to households across the country. In the process, their work transformed into something even more urgent: an exposé revealing how a quartet of telecom giants had neglected to upgrade their networks with high-speed infrastructure in socioeconomically disadvantaged and less-White neighborhoods. 

Markup visualizations engineer Joel Eastwood created a series of graphics that appeared throughout the investigation and methodology, showing readers how starkly households in poorer, more diverse, and historically redlined neighborhoods receive worse internet for the same price. The team crafted a visual introduction to the investigation that highlighted one example in Kansas City, Mo., where two houses – located less than half a mile apart – get drastically different internet speeds but are asked to pay the same for their service.

Congratulations to the team for recognition of their hard work: Joel Eastwood, Gabriel Hongsdusit, Aaron Sankin, Leon Yin, Jeremy Singer-Vine, Maria Puertas, Jill Jaroff, Evelyn Larrubia, and Paroma Soni.

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The Markup’s impact tracker and privacy-first link shortener, Smol Links, won an award of excellence in the internal storytelling tools for journalists category. 

In addition to writing about how we track impact, The Markup released an Airtable template of the structure of our impact database, so that other newsrooms and organizations can readily adopt or build upon our impact-tracking process. Smol Links, our WordPress plugin built on top of Shlink, lets editors generate short URLs inside their WordPress content management systems without compromising user privacy.

Congratulations to Rachel Auslander and Dan Phiffer for recognition of their hard work.

Congratulations, too, to all of this year’s SND honorees.

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