"China's Forgotten Heroes"
From the Nominator
"This story, based on a recently examined PhD thesis and a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Memory Studies, made use of global interest in the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary. It leveraged the anniversary to draw attention to the plight of a vulnerable group of Chinese citizens and the activists helping them at considerable personal risk.
This story was prepared in parallel with discussions with the Economist, which planned to publish an exclusive until restrictions in China made it impossible to conduct interviews with the activists. This made it even more important for the University of Cambridge to publish the story.
Writing this feature required regular, in-depth discussion with the researcher to incorporate details from her fieldwork and personal interactions with both the veterans and the activists to: (1) ensure the story reflected current events in China; (2) source previously unpublished photographs; and (3) crucially, to ensure the anonymity of the activists and the safety of the researcher.
A key challenge for this project was the need to explain, succinctly and engagingly, a complex period of history--China’s resistance against Japan in the Second World War and the resumption of China’s Civil War--that would be unfamiliar to most readers. At the same time, the writer needed to zoom in from these big historical events to give voice to China’s forgotten heroes--a rapidly diminishing group of elderly veterans who fought against their victorious communist compatriots--and the activists striving to honour them."
From the Judges
Another great history lesson that required a lot of work and a lot of effort. The institution did a great job telling the story and taking the reader on a historical journey.