Two Journalists add Pulitzers for Chips Quinn Scholars family

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lisa Song, a Chips Quinn scholar (2010) and two other reporters from InsideClimate News were awarded a 2013 Pulitzer Prize on April 15 for national reporting, while The Denver Post newsroom, including Yesenia Robles (CQS Spring 2011), won a Pulitzer for breaking news.

Song and Robles join 11 other Chips Quinn Scholars who have been part of Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom teams.

At InsideClimate News, Song and her colleagues were cited “for their rigorous reports on flawed regulation of the nation’s oil pipelines, focusing on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen (or ‘dilbit’), a controversial form of oil.”

Responding to a congratulatory e-mail, Song said, “I’m in shock. And I owe a lot to the Chips Quinn program – those multimedia skills from the orientation helped me get my current job, so thank you!” Song participated in the Chips Quinn Scholars program through its partnership with High Country News in Paonia, Colo., a nonprofit independent media organization that covers important issues unique to the American West.

Song earned a master’s degree in science writing in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2008 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A talented researcher and writer, she was one of 11 journalists selected to attend a marine science seminar in July 2011 hosted by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

The Pulitzer board cited The Denver Post Staff for “its comprehensive coverage of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured 58, using journalistic tools, from Twitter and Facebook to video and written reports, both to capture a breaking story and provide context.”

“It’s still exciting to get to work for a newspaper that has celebrated a Pulitzer Prize four years in a row now,” Robles, a staff writer, said in an e-mail.

Robles arrived at The Denver Post in January 2010 through an internship and was hired full time in September 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in 2009.

A listing of Chips Quinn Scholars who have helped their newsrooms win a Pulitzer is attached. The next class of Scholars convenes May 13-19 at the JohnSeigenthalerCenter, on the VanderbiltUniversity campus in Nashville, Tenn.

John C. Quinn, co-founder of the Chips Quinn Scholars Program, applauded Lisa Song’s Pulitzer honors.

“Lisa and Yesenia, you make all of us associated with the Chips Quinn Scholars program proud of your great accomplishment in your budding career. You enrich the program’s commitment to professional journalism and to personal diversity. Well done, Lisa and Yesenia.”

The Chips Quinn Scholars Program for Diversity in Journalism offers students hands-on training and mentoring by caring news veterans. More than 1,300 have been named Chips Quinn Scholars since 1991.


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