Advocate newspaper wins first-ever Pulitzer Prize

Baton Rouge daily takes home one of journalism’s most prestigious awards

Advocate newspaper wins first-ever Pulitzer Prize
The Advocate newspaper Headquarters near Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge, La. (Courtesy: HILARY SCHEINUK/The Advocate)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge’s largest newspaper, The Advocate, was awarded its first-ever Pulitzer Prize Monday, April 15 for a series of reports on Louisiana laws that allowed juries to convict defendants without a unanimous verdict.

The Pulitzer committee called the series “a damning portrayal of the state’s discriminatory conviction system” in its announcement Monday.

The Pulitzer Prize is one of journalism’s most prestigious awards. The Advocate’s Pulitzer was for local reporting.

The Advocate’s reports led to vote of the people which changed the state’s constitution to now require unanimous verdicts in criminal cases.

The newspaper says the body of work was overseen by its managing editor for investigations, Gordon Russell, and written by Russell, Jeff Adelson, Jim Mustian, and John Simerman.

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