UC Berkeley alumnus Andy Mannix wins Pulitzer Prize for breaking news

Photo of Andy Mannix
Briana Bierschbach/Courtesy
Andy Mannix, along with other staff reporters at the Star Tribune, won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for coverage about George Floyd’s death and the impact of it. One of the winning pieces, written by Mannix and Libor Jany, is titled “Minneapolis’ Third Precinct served as ‘playground’ for renegade cops.”

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Reporting from the city at the heart of many Black Lives Matter protests, UC Berkeley alumnus Andy Mannix spent days investigating and uncovering crucial information about the systemic issues in Minneapolis policing.

Mannix, along with several other staff reporters at the Star Tribune, won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news Reporting for an “urgent, authoritative and nuanced coverage” of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police and its lasting impacts.

One of the winning pieces, “Minneapolis’ Third Precinct served as ‘playground’ for renegade cops,” written by Mannix and Libor Jany, uncovered the independent — and often allegedly violent — behavior of cops in Minneapolis’ south precinct. The piece was published June 7, 2020, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. 

“I think it was the first investigative story that really brought needed context to what was happening – that explained how it wasn’t just about four officers and one killing,” Mannix said in an email. “There are systemic problems at play.”

Mannix graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015, taking a job doing data journalism for a nonprofit newsroom before working for the Star Tribune for at least the past five years. Mannix described his experience at Berkeley as formative for developing his data reporting skills, which have been a big part of the current investigative work he does.

When Mannix received the online announcement that he’d won the Pulitzer Prize, he was at home. Though he was proud of the work the Star Tribune had done and was happy for the recognition, Mannix said he regrets that he couldn’t have been in person with his colleagues to share the experience.

“It was up to us to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the killing and aftermath and what it all means,” Mannix said in the email. “I was out there almost every day and night reporting on the protest and riots, taking videos with my cell phone, and sending feed to whoever was on writing duty that night.”

Mannix highlighted the team effort that led to the Pulitzer Prize, with many writers collaborating on articles and communicating about local events. He also recognized the duty he and his fellow writers had to report on the Black Lives Matter movement and investigate its aftermath.

Mannix recommended that journalists take time to “see the world they’re covering,” getting involved at local protests and witnessing the events they are reporting on.

“We’re often the only ones who take the time to understand these issues, like the nuanced world of cops and courts, with no agenda other than telling the truth,” Mannix said in the email. “I think it’s important that we all remember just how big that responsibility is.”

Contact Lianna Leung at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @LeungLianna.