Los Angeles Times Wins Pulitzer Prize For “Big Burn” Series

LOS ANGELES, April 20, 2009 - The Los Angeles Times won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for its five-part “Big Burn” series ( marking The Times 39th award.

Reporters Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart were recognized by the Pulitzer Board “for their fresh and painstaking exploration into the cost and effectiveness of attempts to combat the growing menace of wildfires across the western United States.” The broad-scope, multimedia coverage took more than a year and involved travel across the western U.S. and to Australia.

“Wildfires are part of the landscape in Southern California and we did what any serious newsgathering organization does: devote the time and the resources to tell our readers about the causes and effects of this growing menace,” said Times Editor Russ Stanton. “Our team of reporters, editors, photographers, graphic artists and web producers devoted more than a year to this project, including traveling to the other side of the globe, to deliver this terrific series. We remain committed to providing this type of in-depth coverage on topics that are important to our readers.”

The Times was also recognized as a Pulitzer finalist in two additional categories: Investigative Reporting for Paul Pringle’s meticulously researched stories that exposed financial abuses by the head of SEIU, California’s largest union, and Carolyn Cole in Breaking News Photography for coverage of political violence in Kenya.


“Our commitment to excellence remains undiminished and it is very gratifying to see the fine editorial work of Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart recognized with the country’s highest journalistic honor,” said Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein.

This year’s winning entry has been posted online at and is available by visiting


About the Los Angeles Times


The Los Angeles Times ( is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2 million and 3 million on Sunday, and a combined print and interactive local weekly audience of 5.5 million. The fast-growing draws over 10 million unique visitors monthly.

The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates – including The Envelope, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and Community News – reach approximately 5.3 million or 40% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times has been covering Southern California for more than 127 years and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at


Nancy Sullivan (213) 237-6160