The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Investigation Honored As Pulitzer Finalist in National Reporting

— Tuesday, April 11, 2017 — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) was honored as a finalist for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, which honors excellence in American journalism and the arts.

The AJC’s exceptional work for the Doctors and Sex Abuse series was recognized in the National Reporting category. David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post won the National Reporting category, and the staff at Reuters also was recognized as a finalist.

The newspaper specifically was credited “for an extraordinary series revealing the prevalence of sexual misconduct by doctors in Georgia and across the nation, many of whom continued to practice after their offenses were discovered.”

The AJC’s groundbreaking national series, published in print and online in 2016, exposed a culture of power, esteem and secrecy that gives doctors license to abuse patients sexually, even at a time when the public has realized other respected institutions, such as the military and the clergy, must be held accountable.

The investigation, which included numerous victims’ stories as well as statistics from many sources, was the work of AJC staff members Jeff Ernsthausen, Danny Robbins, Carrie Teegardin, Ariel Hart, Richard Watkins, Ryon Horne, Lois Norder, Johnny Edwards, Alan Judd and Shawn McIntosh.

“These cases appear to represent a fraction of incidents of sexual abuse,” said AJC Editor Kevin Riley. “Many cases remain obscured because state boards and hospitals handle many sexual misconduct cases in secret, and some public orders are so vaguely worded that patients would not know that a sexual offense occurred.

“Now, more than ever, the public needs trusted and credible news sources to expose what is really going on,” Riley continued. “Without our work, many patients may think they are safe because their doctor is prominent and respected.”

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, this investigation has been awarded for its reporting excellence by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization and the Scripps Howard Foundation.

To read the AJC’s investigation go to


About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the leading source – both in print and online – of news, information and advertising for metropolitan Atlanta, reaching a total print and online audience of 1.6 million people each week. Every month, nearly 6.4 million unique visitors access the newspaper’s websites, including, and Our newsroom is the largest in Georgia with more than 150 journalists. We report on a metro area that has more than 5 million people and cover five core counties and more than 20 city governments. Plus, the AJC has a dedicated investigations team of 11 reporters and editors – a combined 285 years of experience – demanding integrity and effectiveness from local governments and businesses. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is part of Cox Media Group, a publishing, digital media and broadcasting subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.

The 12 Pulitzer Prizes Awarded to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

1931, Public Service, The Atlanta Constitution, for exposing graft in city government.

1948, Reporting, George Goodwin, The Atlanta Journal, for exposing vote fraud in Telfair County during the 1946 gubernatorial campaign.

1959, Editorial Writing, Ralph McGill, The Atlanta Constitution. The best known of 10 “editorials,” really front-page columns, was about the 1958 bombing of The Temple, an Atlanta synagogue.

1960, Local Reporting under Deadline Pressure, Jack Nelson, The Atlanta Constitution, for exposing abuses at Milledgeville State Hospital for the insane.

1967, Editorial Writing, Eugene Patterson, The Atlanta Constitution. The editorials discussed the ambush shooting of James Meredith, Julian Bond’s exclusion from the Georgia House of Representatives and other topics.

1988, Cartooning, Doug Marlette, The Atlanta Constitution, shared with the Charlotte Observer. The Pulitzer board permitted the AJC to break the calendar-year rule and enter cartoons drawn by Marlette while he was an Observer employee, regarding the ongoing PTL religious broadcasting scandal. Six of the 10 entered cartoons were published in the Constitution, while four were Observer cartoons.

1989, Investigative Reporting, Bill Dedman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The Color of Money,” a series about discrimination in lending practices in metro Atlanta.

1993, Explanatory Journalism, Mike Toner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “When Bugs Fight Back,” a series about how organisms have developed resistance to antibiotics and pesticides.

1995, Cartooning, Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for a year’s sampling of cartoons on issues ranging from U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich to basketball great Dominique Wilkins to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games mascot.

2006, Editorial Cartooning, Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for a year’s sampling of cartoons including W-H-Y, which featured the names of the first 2,000 U.S. soldiers to die in Iraq.

2007, Commentary, Cynthia Tucker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for her powerfully written, influential editorial columns.

2007, History, Hank Klibanoff, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for his book, “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation” (written with Gene Roberts).