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Pulitzer Center Update January 12, 2024

See the Winners in 2 Pulitzer Center Letter-Writing Contests

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Congratulations to the winners & finalists! graphic for Local Letters for Global Change and Nuestra Amazonia letter-writing contests

 

Read Young People’s Winning Letters in Response to Global Issues

Every year, the Local Letters for Global Change contest asks students around the world: What global issues are affecting you and your community, and what change do you want to see?

We congratulate this year's 16 contest winners and finalists on their lucid descriptions of how diverse global issues impact them on a local and personal level, and the compelling solutions they present. Inspired by Pulitzer Center journalism, these letters illuminate how AI surveillance technology impacts students’ freedom of expression, connect food insecurity to local histories of systemic racism, and emphasize the global consequences of oil pollution. Students call on their elected representatives to take action, and provide creative solutions that demonstrate research, empathy, and an understanding of the systemic issues underlying everyday problems.

The winning entries were selected from nearly 800 letters written by students in 15 countries, 26 U.S. states, and the District of Columbia—our most geographically diverse entry pool to date.

Also in 2023, the Pulitzer Center launched #NuestraAmazonía (Our Amazon), our first Amazon rainforest letter-writing contest. This exercise—which combined journalism, persuasive writing, civic action, and Amazon citizenship—allowed participants to learn about stories that connect us all to the challenges facing the forests.

After receiving more than 700 entries from young people in six Amazonian countries, we are pleased to also announce the winners and finalists of this contest. Inspired by the Pulitzer Center’s rainforest reporting, the letters introduced proposals for action by decision-makers to promote measures against deforestation, illegal mining, species trafficking, drug trafficking, and the disappearance of Indigenous people.

Congratulations to the winners and finalists! We are grateful to every student and teacher who took part in the letter-writing process in these two contests, engaging deeply with global issues through Pulitzer Center news stories, exploring the relevance of those issues to their lives, and taking informed action.

We invite you to explore the letters, published in English and Spanish, to learn more about students’ visions for a better world, and to take inspiration from their calls to action. You may use the Google Translate feature on the Pulitzer Center website to read the letters in your preferred language.

Best,

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Impact

Multiple Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellows have been celebrated with journalism awards for their work.

2022 Post-Grad Reporting Fellow Ankita Mukhopadhyay won the Professional Excellence Award from the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the USA (AFPC-USA) for her Pulitzer Center-supported story, “Seeking Refuge: The Story of Two Women I Know.” Her intimate piece found parallels among generations of displaced refugees, underscoring the systems keeping migrants in limbo. Mukhopadhyay also won four College Filmmakers Film Festival awards, including Best Debut Film, for Far From Home, her documentary that centered on the struggles of an Afghan refugee family in India.

Two former Reporting Fellows, Catherine Cartier and Audrey Thibert, won 2024 Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar Awards. The award is given to young journalists to gain experience in overseas reporting. Cartier, whose 2019 reporting project highlighted interfaith efforts to preserve cultural heritage in Lebanon, wants to pursue a fellowship with one of OPC’s partner organizations or freelance from Morocco or Jordan. Thibert, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 2023 Reporting Fellow, hopes to work in one of the Middle East and North Africa bureaus of OPC partners. She reported on migrants in Tunisia for her Reporting Fellows project, A Shared Uncertainty.  


Photo of the Week

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Despite the difficulties, informal or illegal artisanal miners do not abandon their work for their families. From the story "Arequipa, Epicenter of the Gold War." Image by Roberth Orihuela/Convoca. Peru, 2023.

 "En los últimos años la región Arequipa, al sur del Perú, se ha convertido en el epicentro de los enfrentamientos armados entre grupos de mineros informales que pugnan por la explotación de oro en las montañas de Los Andes. Esta "guerra por el oro" ha dejado al descubierto la poca capacidad de fiscalización de las autoridades peruanas y el abandono en que se encuentra esta actividad que bordea la ilegalidad."

"In recent years, the Arequipa region, in southern Peru, has become the epicenter of armed confrontations between groups of informal miners fighting for the exploitation of gold in the Andes mountains. This "war for gold" has exposed the poor control capacity of the Peruvian authorities and the abandonment of this activity, which borders on illegality."

—Roberth Orihuela


This message first appeared in the January 12, 2024, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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