Chicago Tribune, BGA win Pulitzer Prize

The Chicago Tribune and the Better Government Association shared the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting Monday.

Tribune reporter Cecilia Reyes and BGA reporter Madison Hopkins collaborated on “The Failures Before the Fires,” a two-year investigation called “a piercing examination of the city’s long history of failed building- and fire-safety code enforcement, which let scofflaw landlords commit serious violations that resulted in dozens of unnecessary deaths.”

It was the first Pulitzer in the 99-year history of the BGA, the nonprofit newsroom and government watchdog agency. “

There’s a lot left to be done,” David Greising, president and CEO of the BGA, said in a statement. “The city is little better off today than it was when dozens of people died in preventable fires. A ‘problem landlords’ list does not keep people safe.”

It’s the Tribune’s 28th Pulitzer — and its first since 2017.

With editing led by Kaarin Tisue at the Tribune and David Kidwell and John Chase at the BGA, “The Failures Before the Fires” also received four awards at the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Awards ceremony Friday.

• Get the full report, and more Chicago media news, at


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