University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) alumna Raquel Rutledge has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for a series of articles she wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealing fraud in Wisconsin’s child-care subsidy program.
Rutledge’s series, “Cashing In on Kids,” exposed mismanagement of the state’s taxpayer-subsidized child-care system that left it vulnerable to fraud and criminal activity. The articles led to a state and federal crackdown on providers and new laws to prevent future abuse of the program.
Rutledge, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UWM in 1990, is a Milwaukee native. She worked for the Waukesha Freeman and the Colorado Springs Gazette before joining the Journal Sentinel in 2004.
The series has won a number of other national awards, including the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and a George Polk Award.
Before becoming an investigative reporter at the paper, Rutledge wrote about a variety of topics, from ethanol to Iraq, as a general assignment reporter.
The 94th annual Pulitzer Prizes for journalism were recently announced by Columbia University.