One Pulitzer Prize Winner Left Journalism over Financial Concerns — Now Works in PR
The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded yesterday, and while they celebrate the best of journalism, this year’s awards also reminded the industry that it’s in danger of dying out: a local investigative reporter who won had left journalism months ago for a job in public relations, because journalism couldn’t pay the bills.
The Daily Breeze‘s Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and project editor Frank Suraci, won a local reporting Pulitzer for their in-depth investigation into a Los Angeles school district, uncovering widespread corruption and an overcompensated superintendent — the first Pulitzer in the Torrance paper’s history. Kuznia, however, wasn’t in the newsroom to celebrate his victory: he’d resigned last August to take a publicist position at the University of Southern California, citing financial concerns.
“I had been given a raise, so I don’t want to make it sound like they weren’t aware,” the former education reporter elaborated to the New York Times. “But it still just wasn’t enough.”
In its citation, the Pulitzer committee commended the Daily Breeze‘s inquiry, which led to the removal of the superintendent, and their “impressive use of the paper’s website” to tell the story.
While Kuznia did not say whether he’d make a return to journalism thanks to his newly-acquired Pulitzer, Michael A. Anastasi, the executive editor of the paper’s parent company, sad that Kuznia has a “standing offer to come back.”
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