I struggle to call this list the “best” or “top” videos of 2020 – the year that lasted an era. The unprecedented, heartbreaking, maddening, soul searching and heartening year.
But like every year, it’s humbling to look back at the ground we’ve covered, the places stories have taken us and the people we’ve talked to.
1. The first selection begins with a cheat. Published in December 2019, it earned a 2020 Emmy: Powerless, a story on children impacted by Florida’s flawed Baker Act.
The video was produced by photojournalist John Pendygraft and reporter Leonora LePeter Anton.
“At the time we published this video, the number of children involuntarily transported each year to a mental health center in Florida had doubled in the last 15 years to about 36,000. More than 4,000 of them were under the age of 10. It is a traumatic event for the entire family. There is often heavy stigma, so we are so very grateful for the Plonski family for sharing their story, and especially to A.J. for sharing his drawings,” said Pendygraft.
2. From the investigative team: Why GardaWorld’s armored trucks keep crashing
In its rush to grow, GardaWorld’s armored truck empire took shortcuts. The result has been armored trucks hurtling out of control in communities across America. The team spent a year digging into the company. Produced by designer Eli Zhang and investigative reporter Bethany Barnes.
3. In March, the coronavirus pandemic had reached Florida. We were pummeled with daily breaking news. We used the footage to encapsulate the tumultuous first 30 days after the first case was reported in Florida:
Produced by Jennifer Glenfield and Eli Zhang, footage from videographer James Borchuck and photojournalist Chris Urso.
4. We searched for the heartening stories amid the fear and confusion of the pandemic.
Produced by videographer James Borchuck.
5. Florida’s unemployment system emerged as a national example of an inadequate system. Leaning on Times’ reporters’ relentless reporting, we wanted to give faces to the numbers with What Florida’s broken unemployment system means for its workers.
Produced by Jennifer Glenfield and James Borchuck.
6. Then protests started in Tampa Bay. The chaos of the first night at University Mall garnered most of the views, but for this I’ve chosen a video from the second day of local protests, Voices from a Tampa protest: The message is peace.
I wanted to hear the voices from people on the street and hoped to add some nuance to the movement. The protests were not what you see on TV or scroll through social media.
Produced by Jennifer Glenfield, footage from James Borchuck and Jennifer Glenfield. Additional reporting by Monique Welch.
7. In October we launched Hidden Histories, a series focusing on overlooked and underreported history. In the first episode we spoke to Lynette Hardy, the granddaughter of a little known local civil rights leader.
Produced by Jennifer Glenfield and James Borchuck, additional footage by photojournalist Dirk Shadd.
8. In all of this, videographer James Borchuck launched a second series, One Small Act, to highlight positivity in our communities and the people that enact them.
9. We ended the year on the beach. This is not a particularly stunning video, but this year we all need a moment of peace.