June 10, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
Intimate AP package explores the burdens borne by young children providing essential care for parents
Health writer Tom Murphy was talking with an advocacy group for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease about obstacles in caregiving, when he heard something arresting: Often, it’s children who provide the care.
With that spark, Murphy dug into the research and found that millions of school-aged children across the country are doing heavy-duty caregiving tasks. He and video journalist Shelby Lum then worked for weeks to ensure they could fully show what a family goes through every day. They discovered a family that was not only cooperative but compelling: The Kotiya/Pandya family welcomed Murphy, Lum and photographer Mat Otero into their Texas home where the team shadowed the family’s two young caregivers.
With that access, the trio produced a remarkably rich, engaging all-formats package that hooked readers and viewers.
For shining a delicate but bright light on the heart-wrenching reality of grade schoolers having to be as adept with a breathing machine as with Legos, the team of Murphy, Lum and Otero is AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.