The Los Angeles Times today won its 50th and 51st Pulitzer Prizes. The Times staff received the Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting and Staff Photographer Christina House received the Pulitzer for Feature Photography.
The staff of The Times won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for its reporting on a leaked audio recording that exposed L.A. City Council members making racist comments and plotting to consolidate power during the redistricting process. Coverage of the scandal began with a story by David Zahniser, Julia Wick, Benjamin Oreskes, Dakota Smith and Gustavo Arellano and grew to include reporters and departments from across the newsroom. The judges noted that they awarded The Times for “revealing a secretly recorded conversation among city officials that included racist comments, followed by coverage of the rapidly resulting turmoil and deeply reported pieces that delved further into the racial issues affecting local politics.”
The Times’ House won in the Feature Photography category for her work on Hollywood’s Finest, a collaboration with Times Reporter Gale Holland and videographer Claire Hannah Collins that chronicles the journey of a pregnant woman living on the streets of Los Angeles. As the judges noted, House’s photojournalism provided “an intimate look into the life of a pregnant 22-year-old woman living on the street in a tent – images that show her emotional vulnerability as she tries and ultimately loses the struggle to raise her child.”
In addition, The Times staff was recognized as a finalist in the Local Reporting category for the series Legal Weed, Broken Promises which examined California’s dysfunctional and corrupt recreational cannabis market, and exposed regulators’ failure to protect the state’s cannabis workers. Following reporting by Paige St. John, Brian van der Brug, Marisa Gerber, Adam Elmahrek, Ruben Vives, Robert J. Lopez and Kiera Feldman, state lawmakers began incorporating measures to address the investigation’s findings in proposed legislation.
Today’s announcement marks the fifth year in a row that The Times has won at least one Pulitzer, and the outlet has now won seven breaking news Pulitzers, more than any other news organization.
The complete list of Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists can be found at pulitzer.org. For a listing of Pulitzer Prize-winning work from The Times, visit latimes.com/pulitzers.