SF State Alumni's Efforts Lead to Pulitzer Prize

Thursday, April 27, 2017

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- Several SF State alumni were part of the team that won the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize earlier this month for breaking news coverage of the Ghost Ship fire for the East Bay Times.

The fire broke out in December of last year at a warehouse party hosted by the Ghost Ship Artist Collective in Oakland, killing 36 people trapped inside.

David DeBolt, 32-year-old SF State alumnus and former Golden Gate Xpress editor-in-chief, worked on the Pulitzer Prize winning team. “On one hand, I’m really proud of being a part of a team here in East Bay Times,” DeBolt said. “On the other hand, it still hurts because we won awards for such a great tragedy.”

Cecily Burt, the East Bay Times deputy metro editor and SF State graduate, said the coverage was a team effort made up of dozens who wanted to highlight local news for a local paper.“I would say that we really made our mission to try to find out what was going on and what was behind the fire and sort of circumstances of it,” Burt said. “In that regard, we have continued to provide extra level and continued to provide stories behind the tragedy.”