Ginger Thompson, chief of correspondents and deputy managing editor of ProPublica, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University has announced.
Thompson is a prize-winning journalist who has spent much of her career reporting on Latin America with a focus on investigative stories that have exposed the United States’ secret role in catastrophic episodes of the region’s recent history. She has worked for the last eight years at ProPublica where she is chief of correspondents and a deputy managing editor overseeing recruitment and retention in addition to working on reporting projects.
“We are thrilled to announce that Ginger Thompson has accepted our invitation to join the board,” said Katherine Boo, contributing editor at The New Yorker, and co-chair of the board along with John Daniszewski, vice-president for standards at The Associated Press, and New York Times columnist Gail Collins.
“She has distinguished herself at virtually every level of journalism the Pulitzer Prize honors, from local beat reporting to courageous international coverage to innovative storytelling to meticulous, groundbreaking investigations in the public interest. Her keen intellect and ethical compassionate will make our board stronger,” Boo said.
Thompson spent 15 years at The New York Times, where she was a reporter on the investigations team, a correspondent in Washington and a Mexico City bureau chief. Prior to that she was a Latin America correspondent at the Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun. She began her career at the Los Angeles Times in their METPRO hiring program.
“I’m honored to join the distinguished members of the Pulitzer Board,” said Thompson. “The Pulitzer Prizes not only celebrate important achievements in journalism and the arts, but they also serve as a reminder of the crucial role that journalists, writers and composers play in advancing freedoms for us all. Today that role remains as urgent as ever. I can’t wait to get started.”
Thompson was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team at The New York Times that produced the series, How Race is Lived in America. She has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. The first time was for a Baltimore Sun series that exposed the United States support for a secret Honduran military unit that killed and kidnapped hundreds of suspected leftists; the second was for a ProPublica series that forced the Trump administration to end its policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the southern border. Her work has also been recognized with a Chancellor Award, a Maria Moors Cabot Medal, Polk and Peabody prizes, and the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award. Thompson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Overseas Press Club Board of Governors.
“Thompson is a reporter and writer with the perseverance for finding difficult truths and a commitment to telling the stories of those who too often are marginalized,” said co-chair Daniszewski. “We welcome her to our ranks and look forward to her voice in board deliberations.”
The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.
The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.
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