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Los Cerritos Community Newspaper is now “an official entrant” in the prestigious 2013 Pulitzer Prize competition in two categories after its groundbreaking coverage into the current criminal case inside the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper will be considered by Pulitzer jurors in the categories of Public Service and Investigative Series.
Publisher Brian Hews said that “this is a historical week for Los Cerritos Community Newspaper and for our entire community.”
“To have a small community newspaper considered for the largest award in Journalism in the United States is beyond our wildest dreams,” Hews said.
Hews submitted nearly one dozen articles that were authored and co-written by Investigative Reporter Randy Economy regarding “pay to play” activities inside the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office.
“For over one year, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper investigated the inner workings of the nation’s largest property tax office, and what we found and subsequently uncovered became, in the words of Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley the largest and most significant public corruption case in LA County history,” Hews said in a statement.
“It is the story of a lifetime, one of the biggest scandals in modern L.A. history, a Watergate style journalistic adventure that took us (Hews and Economy) to dark bars and remote meeting places, and subjected them to threats and bullying from Noguez allies, advisers, the largest public relations firm in Los Angeles and even threatened by two elected members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” Hews said.
Both Cooley, and current Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey submitted letters of support on behalf of the community newspapers efforts to the Pulitzer judges.
In February, journalism jurors will meet and nominate three finalists in each category.
The nominations will go to the Pulitzer Prize Board, which selects the winners. The nominated finalists and prizewinners will be announced on April 15.
More than 2,400 entries are submitted each year in the Pulitzer Prize competitions, and only 21 awards are normally made. The awards are the culmination of a year-long process that begins early in the year with the appointment of 102 distinguished judges who serve on 20 separate juries and are asked to make three nominations in each of the 21 categories.
As of January 25, about 1,100 journalism entries were entered.
“We applaud our readers, and advertisers who have supported Los Cerritos Community Newspaper over the past year. This is a huge honor from both me and Mr. Economy. Our entire community should be proud of our accomplishments during this exciting time,” Hews said.
The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes will be handed out in a ceremony at Columbia University in May.
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