Pulitzer-winner in US foresakes journalism to pay the rent

Washington: A Pulitzer prize honoring his work as a journalist came a bit too late for Rob Kuznia, who had to quit the profession because it didn't pay enough. 

Kuznia, 39, was honored yesterday for his reporting with the Daily Breeze, a 63,000 circulation newspaper in Torrance, California.

His expose about corruption in a southern California school system caught the eye of Pulitzer judges who awarded it American journalism's highest honour.

But after the award was announced, the LA Observed website reported that Kuznia quit journalism last year and now works as a publicist for the USC Shoah Foundation -- an organisation dedicated to documenting eyewitness accounts from the Holocaust and other genocides.

LA Observed, which contacted Kuznia after the prestigious award was announced, said the former reporter "admitted to a twinge of regret at no longer being a journalist, but he said it was too difficult to make ends meet on his newspaper salary while renting in the LA area."

In another interview on the Shoah Foundation website, Kuznia ruled out a return to his former profession, and expressed satisfaction in working on "global issues of the highest magnitude," such as the fight against genocide and for greater tolerance.

"I'm very excited to be playing on a bigger stage," Kuznia said.

The Pulitzer committee, in announcing the award, hailed the Daily Breeze's "inquiry into widespread corruption in a small, cash-strapped school district, including impressive use of the paper's website."

First awarded in 1917, Pulitzer Prizes honor work published by US news organisations, or of American authors and composers.

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