Home News Center Two North Carolina Journalists Win National Recognition for Outstanding Coverage of Youth Justice Reforms

Two North Carolina Journalists Win National Recognition for Outstanding Coverage of Youth Justice Reforms

June 14, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

Josh Gordon, 202-878-6610

Two North Carolina Journalists Win National Recognition
for Outstanding Coverage of Youth Justice Reforms

WASHINGTON -- Two journalists in North Carolina – Melissa Boughton and Kari Travis – are being recognized for their coverage of youth justice reforms by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), based in Washington, D.C. The Story of Justice Media Awards recognize journalists who have made it a priority to shine a light on our justice system's manifold failures, and prompt us all to think, "Can't we do better?”

“We wanted to honor Melissa and Kari because of their impressive work covering ‘raise the age’ legislation in North Carolina,” said Peggy Nicholson, co-director of the Youth Justice Project. “Their reporting deepened the public’s knowledge of the historic legislation, contributing to its passage last year.”

Melissa Boughton, North Carolina Policy Watch Courts and Law Reporter, has made it a priority to analyze our failing systems and cover the work being done to correct them. “Our youth justice systems too often promote inequity, damage youth, and are ineffective at keeping neighborhoods safe,” Ricky Watson, Youth Justice Project Co-Director said. “Thankfully, journalists like Melissa push our society to examine the facts and think critically about the best path forward.”

Kari Travis, associate editor at Carolina Journal, will also be honored with NJJN’s Story of Justice Media Award. Travis’ insightful reporting has been influential in broadening support for youth justice reform. “Travis’s impressive work covering historic ‘raise the age’ legislation and the traumatic experiences of children who served time in the adult justice system helped raise awareness for how and why we could do better by NC’s young people,” Nicholson said.

The awards will be given July 17, 2018, at an annual gathering of youth justice advocates from across the country. This year, the conference is hosted in Durham, NC.

“It is an honor to recognize Kari and Melissa for their balanced and compassionate reporting of young people caught up within our justice system's manifold failures,” said NJJN President and Executive Director Sarah Bryer. “The future of North Carolina’s children shines brighter because of their work.”

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The National Juvenile Justice Network is composed of coalitions, organizations and alumni of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute across 41 states and the District of Columbia, all of whom advocate for a fairer justice system for children and teens.

More About Melissa Boughton
Melissa Boughton, Courts and Law Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in September 2016. She covers local, state and federal courts and writes about key decisions that impact the lives of North Carolinians. Before joining the project, Melissa worked the crime and courts beats at The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.; The Winchester Star in Winchester, Va.; and The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, TX. While reporting in Charleston, she covered the Emanuel church shootings and the police killing of Walter Scott. She was part of the team that was named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for coverage of Scott’s death.

More About Kari Travis
Kari Travis is associate editor at Carolina Journal. Kari won awards for first place in for Elections/Political Reporting and third place for News Enterprise Reporting in the online division in 2017 from the N.C. Press Association. In March 2018, she was named a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow by the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining CJ in April 2015, Kari worked for The Institute on Political Journalism in Washington, D.C., and for Sells Group, a digital marketing firm based in Indianapolis. She also has contributed to Transport Topics News, a Washington, D.C. policy magazine, and to Fox 29 News in Philadelphia.

Kari has completed studies in journalism, economics, and Western political philosophy at Georgetown University and George Mason University, and is the recipient of several print and digital media awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including two national Mark of Excellence Awards.

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