Medill alum Brian Rosenthal wins second Pulitzer Prize


Daily file photo by Owen Stidman

Fisk Hall, home to the Medill School of Journalism, at 1845 Sheridan Rd.

Megan Munce, Assistant Campus Editor

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting was awarded to Brian Rosenthal (Medill ‘11) on Monday.

Rosenthal won the prize for a two-part New York Times investigation into how lenders profited off of vulnerable New York City taxi drivers with predatory loans. The reporting led to criminal investigations by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the New York attorney general’s office, an initiative waiving millions of dollars in fees owed to the city, and laws to prevent similar abuse in the future.

Rosenthal, who previously served as editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern during his senior year, was part of the reporting team at The Seattle Times that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for documenting a landslide that killed 43 people, as well as looking into whether the landslide could have been avoided.

“Being up there, it was the most emotionally draining reporting experience of my career,” Rosenthal told The Daily at the time.

Medill Dean Charles Whitaker, who served as the board chairman of the Students Publishing Company Inc. ー The Daily’s publisher ー while Rosenthal was editor, remembered Rosenthal as an “extremely intelligent and enterprising young journalist.”

“It is no surprise to anyone who has watched his career trajectory that he wound up winning a Pulitzer a mere nine years after graduating from Medill,” Whitaker said in an email to The Daily. “The taxicab series for which he is being honored is a wonderful example of industrious investigative reporting – reporting that shines a light on hard-working people caught in the grips of a system that saddles them with debilitating debt.”

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Twitter: @meganmuncie

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