The Pulitzer
Long Shot
How Our 1983 Latino Stories for L.A. Times Won Journalism's Top Prize

As Latino journalists in 1982 and 1983, we were frustrated that other people in the media were telling our ethnic group’s story and distorting who we were. This is the story of how we took action to erase stereotypical coverage and to offer an accurate portrayal of the multi-dimensional Latino community of Southern California.

The 1983 Latino series team after the 1984 Pulitzer Prize announcement.

This story is dedicated to the 16 journalists who worked alongside me on this landmark journalistic effort and to our loved ones who supported us. Sadly, five of our team members have died: Rick Corrales, Frank del Olmo, Al Martinez, Robert Montemayor and George Ramos.

I thank my colleagues who shared their perspectives and memories of our Latino series project. And I thank filmmaker Roberto Gudiño, who provided transcripts of several interviews he conducted with team members. I am grateful to the Los Angeles Times for permission to use its photos. Sincere appreciation to my wife, Barbara Camacho Sotomayor, for her support and advice. Please see the end of this story for full acknowledgements.

This is our story. May it inform and inspire.

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– Links to Contents –

Chapter 1 | The Meeting
Chapter 2 | Historical Context
Chapter 3 | Start of Diversity Movement
Chapter 4 | Birth of the Latino Series
Chapter 5 | The Work Begins
Chapter 6 | Final Column and Editorial
Chapter 7 | Pulitzer Jury and Board
Chapter 8 | Victory! It’s Official
Chapter 9 | Back to Reality
Chapter 10 | Looking Back
Appendix I | Acknowledgements
Appendix II | Team Members