SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) The Latest on (all times local):
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s executive editor says the newsroom celebrated with sparkling wine from local vineyards after winning the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for reporting on last year’s devastating wildfires in California wine country.
Catherine Barnett told The Associated Press on Monday that the paper’s reporters and photographers ran to the front lines of the fires while their families evacuated as flames tore through Napa, Sonoma and other counties.
Barnett says the newsroom erupted in cheers when the prize was announced.
Barnett says being a local news outlet helped tell the story because reporters had relationships with the business owners and residents affected by the fires. The blazes in October killed 44 people and destroyed some 5,000 homes.
The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, California, has won the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for coverage of devastating wildfires that swept through wine country in October.
Executive Editor Catherine Barnett said on the newspaper’s website Monday that it is “a proud day for our newsroom.”
Barnett says staff headed “toward the flames to bring a powerful and continual telling” of the story even as their friends, families, neighbors and co-workers were being affected.
She says the newspaper will continue to write on the many people who lost homes “and so much more” when several wildfires erupted October 8 and swept through Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Yuba counties.
The blazes killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes.
The newspaper won a Pulitzer for spot news photography in 1997.