DIG would like to congratulate The Advocate for winning their first Pulitzer Prize for local reporting! Beginning on April 1, 2018, with the publishing of their article, “Tilting the Scales” the Advocate dove deep into one of the most controversial laws conceived by Louisiana legislation. Since 1898, a majority jury of 10 to 12 can convict a person charged with a crime, rather than a unanimous decision.
As time went by the Jim Crow law proved to be controversial as it gave rise to racist practices towards blacks which, in turn, a disproportionate number would be incarcerated.
Since laying the foundation with “Tilting the Scales”, The Advocate stayed the course in their coverage, unearthing the ugly tragedy that this law was, and how far society has come since then. Thanks to their coverage, we the people put democracy in practice and voted to end this dark chapter in our state’s history. Since January 1, 2019 any conviction of a crime must be decided by a unanimous decision.
Until the law was amended, Louisiana and Oregon were the only two states to enforce a 10 to 12 decision. With Oregon being the only one left, they are currently in the process of trying to overturn it.
The Advocate has shown that journalism is still a valuable tool to providing information to the public using sources, research and exceptional writing. Although we have seen the worrying split in what is accurate and what is not due to infusing entertainment with information, The Advocate has proven to be a model example of what journalism is and what it can do. You can find all the articles from their winning work on the Pulitzer Prize’s website.