The Los Angeles Times Monday collected a pair of Pulitzer Prizes — the pinnacle of achievement in journalism — for its breaking news coverage of the City Council racism scandal and for Christina House’s feature photography documenting a homeless woman living alongside the Hollywood Freeway.
The newspaper’s staff was also named a Pulitzer finalist for local reporting for its coverage of the impacts of marijuana legalization in California.
“These prizes reflect careful, sophisticated, nuanced reporting and photography on complex topics important to Angelenos: power, representation, race relations, homelessness,” Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida said in remarks reported by the paper. “The awards are a testament to the consistent high quality of L.A. Times journalism. I am very proud of the winners and of the entire staff.”
It is the fifth year in a row the Times has won at least one Pulitzer. It’s the seventh time the Times has been honored for breaking news coverage, more than any other media organization, according to the paper.
The year’s breaking news prize was awarded to the paper for its coverage of the scandal that erupted at City Hall following the release of an audiotape of a racially charged conversation involving three council members discussing upcoming redistricting efforts. The release of the tape prompted the resignation of then-Council President Nury Martinez and prompted vocal cries for the resignations of council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León. Cedillo quietly left the council at the end of his term late last year, but de León has resisted resignation calls and continues to hold his seat.
The scandal has led to an ongoing effort to overhaul the process of City Council redistricting.
House received the Pulitzer in the feature photography category for her work telling the story of Mckenzie Trahan, a 22-year-old homeless and pregnant woman living beneath the freeway. She documented the woman’s struggles living in a tent through her pregnancy, along with the birth of Trahan’s daughter.
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