Journalism alumnus wins Pulitzer for breaking news

For the eighth time, an alumnus from the School of Media and Communication has won journalism’s top prize.

Kurtis Lee, JOUR ’09, shares with rest of The Denver Post staff the 2013 prize for breaking news reporting for their coverage of the July 20, 2012, movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. They were cited for their use of “journalistic tools, from Twitter and Facebook to video and written reports, both to capture a breaking story and provide context.”

The paper’s Aurora beat reporter, Lee was called into action at 2:14 a.m. by one of his editors. The second Post reporter on the scene, he tweeted facts as they came to him. And once he was able to conduct a few formal interviews, Lee dictated his piece of the story over the phone to editors back in the newsroom.

Lee says he constantly uses Twitter: “It’s how I get my news and break news myself.”

The Post staff, he says, truly came together to work the Aurora story. “For this story, we all jumped on it and worked together as a team. No one reporter could cover all of this stuff.”

Proud of his and his colleagues’ accomplishment, Lee sees the Pulizter win as “bittersweet. You celebrate the journalism, but you don’t celebrate the incident that occurred.”

SMC’s other Pulitzer winners:

Kristen Graham, JOUR ’00; Dylan Purcell, JOUR ’00; and Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel, COMM ’73
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Assault on Learning”

David Wood, JOUR ’70
The Huffington Post
“Beyond the Battlefield”

Clarence Williams, JOUR ’93
Los Angeles Times
Photography documenting lives of children of parents with addiction

Joby Warrick, JOUR ’82
The News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C.
“Boss Hog”

John Dotson, JOUR ’58
Akron Beacon Journal
Stories examining racial attitudes