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Saturday, June 22, 2024

North Carolina A&T State University Alumna Helps Washington Post Win A Pulitzer Prize


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ashleigh Wilson ‘16, North Carolina A&T State University’s Journalism and Mass Communication (JOMC) program alumna, contributed to The Washington Post’s “American Icon” series, which recently won a 2024 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

The groundbreaking series explores the impact of the AR-15 on the United States and chronicles the rise of the weapon in a polarized country, according to The Post, which has won the National Reporting Prize six times in the past decade, including this year.

Wilson served as search engine optimization (SEO) editor for the series, playing a key role in ensuring the impactful reach and accessibility of the series. Her efforts helped bring critical stories to a broader audience, amplifying the series’ educational and societal impact.


“The ‘American Icon’ series gives a rare and chilling look at the AR-15’s cultural impact in America and its capacity to destroy human bodies,” said Wilson. “I’m truly honored to have served as the SEO editor on this series.”

More than 75 journalists from The Post took part in the “American Icon” series, which features 3D shooting animations, crime scene photos, interviews with industry insiders, shooting survivors, and investigative records.

The seven-month examination found the AR-15’s rise over the past two decades was sparked by a dramatic reversal in strategy by the country’s biggest gun companies as they looked for new revenue.

The Post also earned two additional Pulitzer Prizes for Editorial Writing and Commentary and was a finalist in several categories including Public Service, International Reporting, Illustrated Reporting, and Commentary.

“I had the pleasure of collaborating with Ashleigh on a research project a few years ago and I am very pleased to see that she and her team were awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for their reporting,” said Yahya Kamalipour, Ph.D., interim JOMC Department chair.

For more information about The Post’s prize-winning work, click here.

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