Skip to main content

Northwestern alumna wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize

Medill grad Lisa Gartner receives journalism’s highest honor for local reporting
Lisa Gartner graduated from Medill in 2010.

Northwestern University alumna Lisa Gartner, 28, was one of three Tampa Bay Times reporters honored with the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

Using data and powerful narrative accounts, Gartner and her colleagues conducted a yearlong investigation into struggling public elementary schools in Florida’s Pinellas County. They won the highest prize in American journalism “for exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community,” according to the Pulitzer judges.

Gartner, a 2010 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketed Communications, served as editor in chief of North By Northwestern.

Gartner currently covers Pinellas County Schools, colleges and universities. Before joining the Tampa Bay Times in 2013, she covered D.C. Public Schools for The Washington Examiner. A product of Florida public schools, Lisa grew up in Palm Beach County. She attended Northwestern “after purchasing a very heavy coat,” according to her bio.

Among the other winners was recent Medill graduate Priya Krishnakumar, who works as a graphics and data journalist at the Los Angeles Times. The Times won a staff award in the breaking news category for "exceptional reporting, including both local and global perspectives, on the shooting in San Bernardino and the terror investigation that followed."

At Northwestern, Krishnakumar was a student fellow at the Knight Lab and a creative director at North by Northwestern.

Read more coverage in the Tampa Bay Times.