MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Louisville Courier Journal, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the flurry of pardons and commutations given by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin during his final days in office.
The Pulitzer Prize Board recognized the Louisville Courier Journal “for its rapid coverage of hundreds of last-minute pardons by Kentucky’s governor, showing how the process was marked by opacity, racial disparities and violations of legal norms.”
In order to conduct deep analysis, staff reporters quickly built their own database of the pardon/commutation recipients, including the person, their crime, conviction date and location, and commentary from the governor gleaned from his executive orders. They examined the racial breakdown of 336 imprisoned low-level drug offenders whose sentences were commuted and found that 95% were white.
On December 22, 2018, the Courier Journal published their findings online and in an eight-page special print section. On January 2, 2020 the Courier Journal reported that the Kentucky Attorney General had asked the FBI to investigate Bevin’s pardons.
“I have to presume that anytime a newsroom wins a Pulitzer, it’s an amazing feeling. But to hear the news today – with my staff working remotely, with all of us exhausted from covering the biggest story of our generation – it means more than words can express. This is for the taxpayers of Kentucky who demand accountability and public trust from their elected officials and expect the Courier Journal to ensure that happens,” said Rick Green, Editor of the Courier Journal in Louisville.
This marks the fourth Pulitzer Prize awarded to Gannett journalists in the last three years.
“This is precisely the kind of dogged watchdog work that brings accountability to our government. And this honor affirms that no matter how challenging the circumstances, we will continue to be there working on behalf of our readers to shine a light in the dark corners. The stellar work of the Courier Journal team is a reflection of our commitment to journalistic excellence in every community we serve,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, Gannett Media’s President of News and Publisher of USA TODAY.
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an innovative, digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to fostering the communities in our network and helping them build relationships with their local businesses. With an unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of nearly 150 million people monthly with our Pulitzer-Prize winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services. Our portfolio includes the USA TODAY, local media organizations in 46 states in the U.S. and Guam, and Newsquest, a wholly owned subsidiary with over 140 local media brands operating in the United Kingdom. Gannett also owns the digital marketing services companies ReachLocal, Inc., UpCurve, Inc., and WordStream, Inc. and runs the largest media-owned events business in the U.S., GateHouse Live. Effective November 20, 2019, following the completion of its merger with Gannett, New Media Investment Group Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under Gannett Co., Inc. and its ticker symbol has changed to “GCI”. To connect with us, visit www.gannett.com.