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WVU journalism grad on Pulitzer team to speak

Daily Athenaeum photo courtesy of
Daily Athenaeum photo courtesy of

MORGANTOW, W.Va. — WVU alum and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Margie Mason will return to her home state Monday to give a special presentation during the school’s Diversity Week.

The West Virginia native will be joined by fellow AP reporters Martha Mendoza, Robin McDowell and Esther Htusan as they discuss their year-long investigation into labor abuses in the Southeast Asia seafood industry.

Mason and her colleagues’ reporting has resulted in the freeing of over 2,000 slaves, the arrests of many of the industry’s top offenders, and, due to the large amount of fish caught on the slave-ships ending up on American dinner tables and supermarkets, new legislation in the U.S. which aims to prevent future importation of slave-produced goods.

Mason was honored to receive the recognition, but doesn’t want her award to overshadow the bravery of the enslaved men who shared their story with the reporters and the world, according to a release by WVUToday.

 “We’re excited and proud, but this work was really about these men,” Mason said. “They’re the brave ones. They risked their lives to tell their stories, and they opened the public’s eyes to a problem that had gone on for a very long time—and continues to go on. They’re the ones who should be getting the credit here.”

The team’s investigation won the Associated Press’ 2016 Pulitzer Prize for public service, the highest category of the Pulitzer Awards. Mason is the third WVU alumnus to earn this honor.

The presentation, titled “Seafood from Slaves: From Investigation to Pulitzer Prize,” will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Mountainlair ballrooms. The event is free and open to the public.

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