Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pulitzer for Arizona Journalists' Exposé on Arpaio

Crossposted from The Sanctuary

The East Valley Tribune covers suburban communities throughout the Phoenix metro area's east side and has had a roller coaster year. As with other traditional media sources facing a downturn in demand and economic stability, they have downsized their staff and services.

Well, one of the laid-off reporters, Paul Giblin, snagged the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize yesterday along with still-employed Ryan Gabrielson for their work on the series Reasonable Doubt that chronicled the abuses of Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Executive editor Chris Coppola, who was managing editor at the time the series was produced, said:

"This series by Ryan and Paul was the result of an exhaustive examination of public records and interviews with numerous sources, including many within the sheriff's office, to shed more light on an issue of growing importance both nationally and right here in our communities. It's gratifying that the Pulitzer judges recognized that effort with this honor.

"I know many of our readers appreciated what this series brought to light, while others were critical of our reporting, but in the end, the Tribune helped engage more people within our community on the topic,'' Coppola said.

East Valley Tribune

The five-part series was a welcomed addition to the conversation about Arpaio's controversial and ongoing abuse of power that has leveraged the Maricopa County Sheriff Office to target migrant workers and latinos by extension. Reasonable Doubt chronicles the effects of MCSO's expenses and personnel assignments, showing very clearly that Sheriff Arpaio fails at his job to maintain safety in the jurisdiction.

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