Burk ISD graduate, MSU alumnus part of Pulitzer-Prize win

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A Burkburnett ISD graduate and MSU Texas alumus can now add the highest award in journalism to his resume.

The Advocate newspaper on Monday was awarded its first-ever Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for its series on Louisiana jury law.

Orlando Flores, Jr. serves as a digital content editor at the newspaper and contributed to winning series, ‘Tilting the Scales.’ It looked into Louisiana’s law allowing 10-2 jury convictions in criminal cases, which was rooted in Jim Crow era laws. The series led to a measure on the November 2018 ballot where Louisiana residents voted to make unanimous juries mandatory.

“My role with the project was small in the grand scheme of things,” Flores said. “The digital desk worked on presenting the series online through a series of graphics, videos and an interactive timeline, along with linking all stories in the series together on an easy to follow landing page.”

The Pulitzers, administered by Columbia University, are journalism’s most prestigious awards.

Flores graduated from Burkburnett High School in 2007 and then attended Baylor University until 2009. He then brought his talents to Midwestern State University, where he worked for the student newspaper, The Wichitan. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication in 2013.

“None of this, however, would have been possible without my time at MSU,” Flores said. “Working on the Wichitan staff for 2 years was crucial for my development as a journalist. I’m forever grateful for the friends and colleagues I’ve made along the way, as well as everything Jim Sernoe, Randy Pruitt, Bradley Wilson, Jim Gorham, Mitzi Lewis, Liz Minden and Sandra Grant taught me in the Mass Communication department.” 

Flores worked at the Times Record News in Wichita Falls before moving to New Orleans to work for The Advocate.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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