Sir Harry Evans Fellow scoops Pulitzer Prize

May 9, 2024 | Fellows, IAS News

Durham University’s first Sir Harry Evans Fellow, Waylon Cunningham, is part of a Reuters reporting team to win a Pulitzer Prize – the most prestigious awards in journalism.

Waylon, from Texas, was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship in Investigative Journalism in 2023.

He worked on investigative projects from the Reuters newsroom in London, whilst receiving mentorship and support from the IAS.

Investigating Elon Musk’s business empire

During the nine-month Fellowship, Waylon helped uncover systemic harms to customers, workers and lab animals at Elon Musk’s companies.

The body of work, titled The Musk Industrial Complex, won the Pulitzer Prize in the National Reporting category.

It marks the first time Reuters has won a Pulitzer in the national category and follows Waylon being part of the same reporting team to have received a Polk Award earlier this year.

In the reports, Waylon and his Reuters colleagues documented a rising toll of injuries and deaths of workers at rocket builder SpaceX and of laboratory animals at Neuralink, Musk’s brain-implant company.

And they revealed that Musk’s groundbreaking electric-car company, Tesla, covered up dangerous defects in steering and suspension parts; rigged the driving-range estimates in its cars; invaded drivers’ privacy by sharing sensitive images recorded by their vehicles; and made Tesla Insurance customers wait months for claim payouts.

The reporting led to calls for action from US lawmakers.

The full award-winning team is: Marisa Taylor, Steve Stecklow, Norihiko Shirouzu, Hyunjoo Jin, Rachael Levy, Kevin Krolicki, Marie Mannes, Waylon Cunningham and Koh Gui Qing.

Celebrating fearless truth-telling

Our 2024 Fellow is Rosa Furneaux who specialises in reporting on global health inequalities.

She will be among the speakers at the Truth Tellers Sir Harry Evans Investigative Journalism Summit 2024 held in London on May 15.

The Summit brings together 400 editors, reporters, broadcasters, media leaders, and cultural and political influencers to celebrate the very best in global journalism.

The event, which is co-hosted by our Vice-Chancellor Karen O’Brien, Tina Brown CBE and Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni, will be available to watch via a live stream on the day.

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