1. France’s Far-Right Party Seizes The Moment — And The Youth — Rosie Gray
Reporting from Paris in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish deli, Rosie Gray examined how France’s far-right National Front party was seeking to capitalize on the fear and anger provoked by the violence.
Max Seddon reported from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic to show how months of war had alienated people from the government in Kiev.
3. These Are The Families Left To Reclaim Garissa’s Dead — Jina Moore
This heartbreaking story focuses on those who lost friends and relatives in the April attack on Garissa University in northern Kenya, as gunmen hunted and killed more than 140 people. As Jina Moore writes, “This is the story of Kenyans coming to claim their dead.”
5. Alan Gross And The High Cost Of Democracy In Cuba — Joshua Hersh
Michael Hastings National Security Fellow Joshua Hersh produced the most in-depth piece yet on what brought U.S. government contractor Alan Gross to Cuba — and how he landed in a Cuban jail for five years — and what it says about the perils of U.S. democracy promotion abroad.
6. The Other, Weirder Negotiations Going On Outside The Iran Talks — Rosie Gray
Rosie Gray spent months flying in and out of Switzerland as the historic talks between Iran, the U.S., and other world powers hurtled towards their close. Here, she reported on the bizarre atmosphere surrounding the negotiations.
7. Nobody, Especially The Government, Knows How Many Mass Graves Have Been Found In Mexico — Karla Zabludovsky
This exclusive investigation relied on public records requests to reveal that the Mexican government was not keeping track of one of the greatest issues ravaging the country — the number of mass graves. Karla Zabludovsky also spent the year tracking the family of one man who disappeared in the most infamous contemporary case, that of the 43 students, to show what happens to those left behind to seek justice.
8. Putin’s Action Hero: How Steven Seagal Became the Kremlin’s Unlikeliest Envoy — Max Seddon and Rosie Gray
The U.S.-Russia relationship sank to new lows in 2015 and this tells the incredible story of how a faded action hero became the man who Vladimir Putin hoped would convey his hopes and dreams to the White House.
9. This Is How Syrian Antiquities Are Being Smuggled And Sold — Mike Giglio
Extensive interviews with diggers, smugglers, and traders reveal how all sides in Syria’s horrific civil war are plundering the country’s rich history to fuel the violence.
Reporting from Serbia, Croatia, and Germany, Jina Moore became the first to expose the level of sexual violence and coercion women refugees were facing as they made the long voyage to Europe — and how governments and international organizations were wholly unprepared. Her reporting prompted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to shift course and admit that sexual violence was indeed an issue.
11. Egyptian Doctors Think This Torturous Exam Can Detect “Chronic Homosexuals” — J. Lester Feder
Egypt saw a renewed crackdown on civil society in 2015 — and on LGBT people. In this story, J. Lester Feder, who was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, examined the discredited procedure through interviews with doctors in Cairo and the U.S., and revealed the extent of abuse being faced by LGBT people in Egypt.
12. The Real Reason Turkey Is Building So Many Mosques — Borzou Daragahi
Borzou Daragahi looked at the spike in mosque building in Turkey and beyond — and showed what it revealed about the motivations of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies, as well as the global struggle for influence and power.
As China struck down its infamous one-child policy this year, Beimeng Fu showed the world some moving — and surprising — reactions.
14. Meet The Mysterious New Hacker Army Freaking Out The Middle East — Sheera Frenkel
Sheera Frenkel investigated the Yemen Cyber Army, which carried out one of the most audacious hacks of the year when it hit Saudi targets, and found links to Iran.
16. This Is What Happened To The Missing Trans Women Of El Salvador — J. Lester Feder
The story of a group of trans sex workers who were disappeared in the midst of El Salvador’s civil war has been passed down from generation to generation of trans women in the country. J. Lester Feder heard it while reporting on other trans issues in the country, and spent a year crafting this incredible oral history which sets the story down in writing for the first time.
17. Iran’s Intervention In Syria Is Bold, Unprecedented — And Possibly A Disaster — Borzou Daragahi
Borzou Daragahi took the deepest dive yet into Iran’s involvement in the Syria conflict.
18. A Palestinian Teen Is Recovering In The Same Hospital As The Israeli Teen He Stabbed — Sheera Frenkel
Sheera Frenkel reported on the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence, one engulfing a generation that has known nothing but animosity.
19. This Is Why The Guantanamo Bay Hearings Have Taken 14 Years — Ali Watkins
National security reporter Ali Watkins came back from Guantanamo Bay with this riveting story of the absurdities and inefficiencies plaguing its pre-trial hearings.
20. What They Missed: The Anti-Terror Raid That Asked All The Wrong Questions — Joshua Hersh
Joshua Hersh pieces together a brutal raid on a suspected terrorist hideout in the eastern Belgian town of Verviers, months before the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, and exposes how questionable police tactics may have prompted police to miss key signs that something big was coming.
Jina Moore revealed the story of a Canadian aid worker who was raped by a man contracted by the United Nations — and her infuriating quest for answers and justice.
- A newly unearthed Homeland Security report contradicts Donald Trump's travel ban, saying country of origin is not a reliable indicator of terrorism.
- The White House blocked several media outlets it's been critical of, including BuzzFeed, from a closed-door briefing by press secretary Sean Spicer.
- Hillary Clinton returned to the public arena in one of her first political appearances since the election, urging Democrats to "keep fighting."
- The White House strongly denies reports that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus urged the FBI to undermine stories linking Trump to Russia.