Alum Brett Murphy (’16) named Pulitzer Prize finalist for USA Today series on port truckers

April 16, 2018

Brett Murphy of the Class of 2016 has received one of journalism’s highest honors, just years after finishing his graduate studies at UC Berkeley.

The nine-part series, described by Pulitzer judges as “a graceful, data-driven narrative populated by the truckers who transport goods from America’s ports—spirited characters exploited by some of the country’s largest and best-known companies,” started as Murphy’s master’s project when he was a student. Murphy worked with both editors at the Investigative Reporting Program and New Media faculty at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He later expanded the story for the USA Today, where he now works as an investigative reporter.

“We’re incredibly proud of Brett,” said Associate Professor Richard Koci Hernandez. “As a student, he was always a dogged reporter, relentless in his pursuit of getting deep into the story. He always had a clear and focused vision, and it’s exciting to see him earn recognition for the tireless hours he spent telling this story.”

Murphy, an investigative reporter for USA Today based in Florida, was born and raised in the Boston suburbs, and studied nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh.

“It’s a real honor to be on this shortlist with such incredible company,” says Murphy. “I share the recognition with a whole team that had a hand in this series, especially my editors. Most of all, I’m happy to have played a part in bringing attention to the port trucking industry and the workers who risked everything to tell us their story.”

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners in 14 journalism categories were announced on Monday, April 16.

Read the entire series here.


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