Lisa Falkenberg wins Pulitzer for commentary

Major congratulations.

Lisa Falkenberg

Houston Chronicle Columnist Lisa Falkenberg has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, the Pulitzer board announced Monday.

It was the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Chronicle in its 114-year history. The Chronicle has had finalists on several occasions, including Falkenberg in the same category last year. Editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson won a Pulitzer for his work at the Louisville Courier-Journal in 2005.

Falkenberg, 36, a sixth-generation Texan, joined the Chronicle in 2005 as a reporter in the Austin bureau. In 2007 she moved to Houston as a Metro columnist.

Falkenberg was awarded the prize for a series of columns she wrote about Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was condemned for the killing of a Houston police officer, a crime he very likely did not commit.

From documents leaked to her by sources, or obtained through court records and Freedom of Information Act requests, Falkenberg revealed how a witness, Brown’s former girlfriend, who could have provided him with an alibi, was threatened and intimidated by a grand jury into lying on the stand. She provided the key testimony that put Brown on death row.

She pulled back the curtain on the secretive Texas grand jury system, allowing a glimpse into the workings of the panel that indicted Brown. That panel, Falkenberg revealed, was headed by a Houston police officer.

And as the story notes, her Monday column was in the same series. Good timing, that. If you click on a link like this one on the sidebar under the header “Her other Pulitzer-winning columns”, there’s now an update in it to include the link Read more award-winning work from Lisa Falkenberg. Also, as part of her prize, Falkenberg is now legally entitled to say “That’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg to you, wiseguy” any time she feels like it.

OK, I may be kidding about that last bit. In all seriousness, this is a great honor and it is well deserved. Congratulations, Lisa!

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4 Responses to Lisa Falkenberg wins Pulitzer for commentary

  1. Jeff N. says:

    What a great accomplishment for a great journalist. Congratulations to her and to the hometown newspaper. Lisa’s editor, Tony Freemantle (an old friend and our Heights neighbor), was a Pulitzer finalist in international reporting in 1997 for a series on human rights abuses. Good on them all.

  2. Paul kubosh says:

    I am very proud to say that she did a story onn my battle with the red light cameras. This is a win for all Houstonians. I am very happy for her. I kind of feel like we all won. Congrats again.

  3. Brad M. says:

    The streak is over! Kudos to a native Texan and a well deserved award.

    I reserve the right to still lambast the overall quality of the Chronicle though.

  4. Steven Houston says:

    I disagree with her columns all the time as she bends facts and slants circumstances all the time but her writing style is designed to convince those who refuse to check her facts more closely, not a critical reader so kudos to her for the win.

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