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Incoming UM journalism faculty member wins Pulitzer Prize

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News from UM News Service

MISSOULA — When the 2024 Pulitzer Prizes were announced – the top prizes in American journalism – they had special impact thousands of miles away at the University of Montana School of Journalism.

That’s because when the Washington Post’s thorough and unflinching reporting on the AR-15 won the prize for National Reporting, the team included the newest member of UM’s J-school faculty.

Lisa Krantz, a longtime photographer at the San Antonio Express-News and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri, was part of the award-winning group. Krantz photographed “A Tragedy Without End” about the survivors of the November 2017 First Baptist Church massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 people dead, and 22 others wounded.

Krantz, who is quick to point out she prefers being behind the camera, stressed how important it was to tell the story of the community she first covered some seven years ago.

“It is extremely humbling to be included with such an incredible team of journalists and contribute to the series that brings comprehensive and groundbreaking understanding of the devastation caused by gun violence and mass shootings to the public,” she said. “It is even more of an honor to be trusted and embraced by the survivors and congregation at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and allowed in their lives at their most vulnerable in 2017, and again for this story.”

The photography was part of a multipart series examining the impact of one type of weapon on American society. The stories covered the divisive role the semi-automatic rifle has in America, the technology of the weapon and the stories of those affected by the debate and the violence. 

The Pulitzer committee awarded all of the contributors to the Washington Post series, praising the staff “for its sobering examination of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which forced readers to reckon with the horrors wrought by the weapon often used for mass shootings in America.”

Krantz spent months talking and working with the community from 2017 to 2019 and returned to Sutherland Springs to report for the Post. 

“Lisa’s photos of some of the most difficult aspects of the fallout from a mass shooting reflect the kind of reporting we at the school hope to instill in our young journalists – reporting with integrity, sensitivity and honesty,” said Lee Banville, the director of UM School of Journalism. “It’s incredibly exciting to welcome a journalist at the top of their game to Missoula to join our team.”

Krantz will start at the UM J-school in the fall, teaching courses on beginning visual journalism and intermediate photojournalism. 

For more about Krantz, visit her website ( and view the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Tragedy Without End.”

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