"The United States trumpets education – particularly of girls – as one of its key victories during the war in Afghanistan. But Azmat Khan’s exhaustive reporting reveals otherwise. Many of the schools Khan visited during her investigation for BuzzFeed News have never seen a single student or teacher. In a category dominated by big-team reporting, the judges were especially impressed by Khan’s initiative as a solo practitioner. In fact, she was the first member of the Western media to follow the trail of a billion-plus dollars spent by the U.S. on education-related funding in Afghanistan, piecing together a well-written narrative from contractors, aid workers and warlords. Khan also conducted more than 150 interviews for her piece, many of them on-the-ground in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The payoff? Khan’s work had a clear impact, prompting detailed monitoring of USAID as well as a commission to investigate corruption in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education."

— Judges Comments, 2016 Deadline Club Awards