Jacqui Banaszynski

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Jacqui Banaszynski, speaking at the Missouri School of Journalism in 2008.
Jacqui Banaszynski speaking at the Missouri School of Journalism in 2008

Jacqui Banaszynski is an American journalist. She was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1988. Banaszynski went on to become a professor and a Knight Chair at the school of journalism at University of Missouri.


Banaszynski grew up in a small farming village in Wisconsin.[1] Banaszynski began working as a journalist in high school and when she was 15, became the editor of the school paper, the Pulaski News.[2] Part of the appeal of working on the paper was that the journalism program gave her access to sporting events at the school level.[3] Banaszynski graduated from Pulaski High School in 1970 and earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 1974.[2][1][4] She was the first in her family to earn a college degree.[3]

Around 1984, Banaszynski started working for the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch.[5] In 1986, she went on assignment to Africa and her story about Sudanese victims of famine, "The Trail of Tears," became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 1986.[6][7]

Banaszynski wrote a special report called "AIDS in the Heartland" while she was a reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch.[2] The report was a series of stories that centered around the lives of two gay Minnesota farmers, one of whom had contracted AIDS.[2] She and her photographer, Jean Pieri, searched for a year for subjects that they felt could "humanize people afflicted by this terrifying new illness."[8] Their choice of following Dick Hanson and his partner, Bert Henningson, at first upset readers of the newspaper, but after the final installment of the 3 part series, most readers seemed to sympathize with both men.[8] The series won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1988.[9]

In 1997, Banaszynski began working for The Seattle Times and in 2003, became the Associate Managing Editor for special projects and staff development.[10]

Banaszynski was inducted into the American Society of Sunday and Feature Editors Hall of Fame in 2008.[1] She went on to become the Knight Chair at the University of Missouri school of journalism.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Jacqui Banaszynski". Missouri School of Journalism. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  2. ^ a b c d Lyons, Tom (1 April 1988). "Pulitzer Prize Winner Got Her Start on Newspaper at Pulaski". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved 2018-12-24 – via Newspapers.com. and "Pulitzer". Green Bay Press-Gazette. 1 April 1988. p. A2. Retrieved 2018-12-24 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b Rudd, Elizabeth (6 March 2015). "Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Speaks at UI". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Retrieved 24 December 2018 – via EBSCOhost.
  4. ^ "Picture". Star Tribune. 17 July 1983. Retrieved 2018-12-24 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "St. Paul Reporter Wins Pulitzer Prize". Argus-Leader. 1 April 1988. Retrieved 2018-12-24 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Jacqui Banaszynski". Herstory. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  7. ^ "The 1986 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in International Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  8. ^ a b Woltman, Nick (2016-07-25). "Pulitzer Prize-winning series humanized AIDS crisis, divided Pioneer Press readers". Twin Cities. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  9. ^ "The 1988 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Feature Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  10. ^ "People & Places". Quill. 91 (2): 37. 2003 – via EBSCOhost.
  11. ^ Moody, Kathryn (12 February 2015). "Pulitzer-winner Banaszynski urges reporters to have 'courage to care'". IU Bloomington. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-24.

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