Nov. 13, 2020
Best of the States
Tenacious source work leads to national newsbreak on census fraud
The on-the-record accounts from two census workers were stunning: Under pressure from supervisors amid the Trump administration’s push to bring the census to an end, they were encouraged to falsify records in the 2020 headcount.
Whom did they reveal this to? Not surprisingly, they spoke to Mike Schneider, AP’s authority on the census, who leveraged months of source development and reporting to break the story. Posted just an hour before the presidential race was called for former Vice President Joe Biden, the story still broke through with strong play and reader engagement.
For keeping the AP ahead in a critical coverage area with a terrific scoop, Schneider wins this week’s Best of the States award.