The Advocate wins first Pulitzer Prize for reporting that helped change Louisiana's nonunanimous jury law
The Advocate of Baton Rouge, La., was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize Monday for reporting on the racial impacts of Louisiana's unique laws allowing juries to convict defendants without a unanimous verdict.
The Advocate's coverage set the stage for Louisiana's voters to amend the state constitution, seven months later, to demand unanimous verdicts in criminal cases.
SNPA director Judi Terzotis is the president of The Advocate.
Monday's award marks the first Pulitzer Prize in the state since 2006, when The Times-Picayune received two for its courageous coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It is the sixth time the century-old award has gone to a Louisiana news organization.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel was honored with the highest honor for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Read more
A team of three Associated Press journalists won a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for their work documenting torture, graft and starvation in Yemen's brutal civil war.
Reporter Maggie Michael, photographer Nariman El-Mofty and video journalist Maad al-Zikry spent a year uncovering atrocities and suffering in Yemen, shining a light on a conflict largely ignored by the American public. Read more
A special citation to honor the journalists, staff and editorial board of the Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Md., was awarded for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in U.S. history in their newsroom on June 28, 2018, and for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief. The citation comes with a $100,000 bequest by the Pulitzer Board to be used to further the newspaper's journalistic mission. Read more
An Example of Hope
Prior to announcing the winners, Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy broke with tradition to offer her "sincere admiration for an entry that did not win, but should give us all hope for the future of journalism in this great democracy."
The entry was from the staff of The Eagle Eye student newspaper at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which submitted the obituaries of the 17 coaches and classmates who were killed in a tragic shooting in their school in February 2018.
She said, "The Eagle Eye submission stated that the student editors and reporters had to 'put aside our grief and recognize our role as both survivors, journalists and loved ones of the deceased.'"
Canedy said, "These budding journalists remind us of the media's unwavering commitment to bearing witness even in the most wrenching of circumstances, in service to a nation whose very existence depends on a free and dedicated press. There is hope in their example, even as security threats to journalism are greater than ever. And there is hope, even if some wrongly degrade the media as the enemy of the very democracy it serves."