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Thread: Meet the journalism student who found out she won a Pulitzer in class

  1. #1
    Penny for your thots Macduff's Avatar
    Apr 2010

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Meet the journalism student who found out she won a Pulitzer in class

    On Monday afternoon, Mariel Padilla, a master’s student at Columbia Journalism School, sat around a table with classmates, listening to Professor Giannina Segnini lead a discussion about email encryption for reporting across borders. A couple floors below, journalism bigwigs and other members of the press crowded into the World Room, an ornate, high-ceilinged chamber reserved for the event, eager to watch Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy announce this year’s winners. For Padilla, who moved to New York last year from the small town of Oxford, Ohio, just being in geographic proximity to the announcement was a thrill.
    The summer before starting her program at Columbia, Padilla interned at The Cincinnati Enquirer. She got her start in journalism the year prior in a reporting class at Miami University Ohio, publishing hyperlocal stories on the drug crisis and its impact on children.
    A breaking-news intern with a penchant for crime reporting, Padilla, 23, was tasked with visiting the county jail each morning during the project’s week of coverage to sort through hundreds of paper arrest slips and flag opioid mentions. From there, she took it upon herself to create a database for Enquirer reporters, documenting the time, location, and nature of every opioid-related arrest that occured over those days. The Enquirer had reporters booked around the clock. “It was a full-newsroom effort, that was the insanity,” Padilla remembers. “There were two or three people just in charge of managing the schedule. There would be people scheduled from, like, 4am to 10am. It was very intense.”
    At the end of the project, despite dogged 24/7 reporting, there were gaps in coverage, especially in the late-night hours when the city slowed. Padilla’s database became a go-to for filling in those gaps, allowing the narrative to stretch uninterrupted, and revealing the rhythmic, ticking heartbreaks of an epidemic that does not sleep.
    Published in September 2017, the story, “Seven Days of Heroin,” prompted a nationwide conversation about the opioid crisis, reflected in newsrooms around the country.
    Thanks from Tedminator, Blues63 and Ian Jeffrey

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
    Mar 2015

    In before the DERP!!!
    Did you have any thoughts on this? Not sure exactly what we are supposed to discuss here....

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