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Winning the Pulitzer

Winning the Pulitzer

By Gordon Young

Photo by Nelvin Cepeda
Tatiana Sanchez ’10 got her start in journalism courses and The Santa Clara student newspaper before going on to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Tatiana Sanchez, a 2010 Santa Clara University graduate who majored in English and minored in Communication and Spanish, won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize as part of the East Bay Times team that covered the tragic 2016 Ghost House fire in Oakland. Sanchez served as the opinion-page editor at The Santa Clara, the university’s award-winning student newspaper. She also participated in the Communication Department’s journalism practicum and excelled in Senior Lecturer Barbara Kelley’s “Introduction to Journalism” course.

“Tatiana introduced herself to me during her junior year, when she had just become involved in the campus newspaper and quite suddenly fell in love with journalism,” said Kelley, who is the director of the journalism emphasis in the Communication Department. “She once said that she wanted her life work to be one that positively impacts other people. I have followed her work, especially on diversity and immigration, and I’ve found that she has done just that.”

The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting is awarded for “a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates, provides context and expands upon the initial coverage.”

Sanchez reported from the scene of the fire and helped compile stories and profiles of each victim.

“It’s an absolute honor to have been part of a talented team of journalists who covered every aspect of this senseless tragedy with great passion and a tremendous hunger to uncover the truth,” said Sanchez, who is the race and demographics reporter at The Mercury News. “As a young journalist, reporting on the Ghost Ship fire was an important growth experience, both personally and professionally. More than anything, it was a reminder of why our work is so important. I hope that with these stories, we forever honor and commemorate each of the 36 victims who lost their lives on December 2.”

Follow Tatiana Sanchez on Twitter at @TatianaYSanchez

Read more about the East Bay Times and the Pulitzer Prize

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