East Bay Times wins Pulitzer for Ghost Ship Fire reporting

Editor’s note: Congratulations to my longtime friend Neil Chase and his staff. Neil also taught journalism at Northwestern.

“The East Bay Times has won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its coverage of December’s Ghost Ship fire — the fifth time a Bay Area News Group paper has gained journalism’s highest award,” as the newspaper and others are reporting.

“In a Monday announcement, the judges said the Times received the award ‘for relentless coverage of the ‘Ghost Ship’ fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party, and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it.’

“Bay Area News Group journalists, who produce coverage for the Times and the Mercury News, were the first to uncover problems with the city’s inspections and permitting of the Ghost Ship building, initially reporting the issue on BANG websites less than 12 hours after the Dec. 2 blaze. In subsequent days and weeks, the coverage expanded to encompass the lives of the victims, mostly young artists and musicians, and the housing crisis that has driven so many Bay Area residents into substandard dwellings like the Ghost Ship.

“A narrative story, ‘The Last Hours of the Ghost Ship,’ won enormous praise for taking readers inside the warehouse as the fire started, then raged out of control, and Oakland firefighters fought to save those inside. In the months since, BANG journalists have continued to report on the system breakdowns that allowed so many people to cram into a firetrap whose dangers should have been obvious. City officials have now begun to overhaul their fire inspection and other practices.

“‘Winning the most prestigious honor in journalism is humbling,’ said Neil Chase, executive editor of the East Bay Times and the Mercury News. ‘It’s testimony to the incredible efforts of our talented journalists and their dedication to serving this community and discovering the truth about what happened.’

“It was the third national award for the East Bay Times coverage of the deadly blaze.”

The rest of the article is here.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s