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The Advocate of New Orleans Wins Pulitzer for Local Reporting

The Advocate has won a Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for its coverage of Louisiana's criminal conviction system.

The newspaper produced a series that included reports on a Jim Crow-era law that let only 10 jurors convict people in criminal cases. Voters overturned the law after the series was published. The Pulitzer committee called the series "a damning portrayal of the state's discriminatory conviction system" in its announcement Monday.

Editor Peter Kovacs says the paper put an issue on the radar screen and residents voted to change it. The newspaper is based in Baton Rouge, but staffers at The New Orleans Advocate wrote the series.

Kovacs says staff members in New Orleans drank champagne from purple, green or gold plastic cups like those thrown from Mardi Gras floats.