Last week, the Las Vegas Sun won journalism’s highest award, the Pulitzer Prize. Sun writers Alexandra Berzon, David Clayton, and Matt Huffington covered a story that might have gone unnoticed—the death of construction workers on the Strip. Here’s the Sun’s sub-head from last week: “53 stories, 21 editorials, no more deaths.” If you’ve been wondering what the big deal is about newspapers going out of business, then the story of these stories should help you understand. These three journalists saved lives because they wanted to know why nine people died in sixteen months on Strip construction jobs. Here’s what last Tuesday’s Sun said:
“Before the Sun exposed the problems, construction safety had been a nonissue in Las Vegas. Worker deaths were considered the cost of doing business along the Strip, which was in the heat of a $32 billion building boom. Berzon said there was a feeling at the time that there was so much construction happening so fast that ‘of course people were going to make mistakes and die.’ ” Thanks to these reporters, that’s no longer the attitude.
Congratulations to the Sun, and to these dedicated journalists.