I usually put my Publisher’s Letter on page 2 – but not this month.
I am happy to announce that T.A. Hendrickson, the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel, has shared in a Pulitzer Prize this year for an editorial she wrote in 2017, while still at The New York Times.
The award is the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the highest of the Pulitzers, which is awarded to a news organization for a “distinguished example of meritorious public service.”
T.A.’s editorial is one of 18 articles in the New York Times cited by the Pulitzer committee “for explosive, impactful journalism” on the sexual abuse scandals involving Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men. The committee credited the coverage, along with four articles in the New Yorker magazine, with “spurring a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women.”
T.A., who was a member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times from 2004 to October, 2017, weighed in on the issue in April 2017, after reporters from the New York Times broke the story about abuse allegations and settlements involving Bill O’Reilly at Fox.
The editorial, entitled “It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem,” put the scandal in a broader context. “Practices that have discounted, demeaned and derailed women’s work lives for decades…include not only sexual harassment, but also persistent disparities in pay and promotion, as well as structural impediments — in child care, scheduling and other workplace policies,” she wrote, adding, “Those barriers to women are no secret. Their injustice is obvious. Yet they continue.”
The editorial is packed with evidence of the problems she raises and outlines “how to bridge the gulf between what women deserve and what they’re getting.”
Did I mention that T.A. Hendrickson is my sister? Hendrickson is her married name. The “T” is for Teresa, but our family has always called her Tracey. She went to St. Dominic’s grade school in Eagle Rock, then to Holy Family High School in Glendale, then to UCLA and then to New York City to become a journalist. Along the way, she earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. As someone who grew up with her, I can also tell you this: She has been writing ever since she learned the alphabet.
She was supportive about my decision to take over the Boulevard Sentinel in 2015, because she believes in the importance of local news. This from someone who has interviewed two presidents (Clinton and Obama) in addition to covering so many big stories – even flying on Air Force One! After leaving the New York Times last year, she became the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and, along with her husband, Bill, has returned to the area to try to figure out a way forward for local news in Northeast L.A.
Welcome home, Tracey, and congratulations!
You can read “It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem” in full at the link in the article above. It is also included under “2018 Prize Winners” at Pulitzer.org.