After graduating from Concord Academy in 1997, Alexandra Berzon ’97 has gone on to leave her mark on the world of journalism. She has written pieces for the Las Vegas Sun and the Wall Street Journal. In 2009, Berzon was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and The Hillman Prize, which is awarded to journalists and public figures who fight for social justice and public policy.
Berzon was born in 1979, and grew up in Berkley, California. Despite being born and raised on the west coast, she traveled all the way to Massachusetts to attend CA for high school. She was a part of the graduating class of 1997, and after graduation, she traveled further down the east coast to New York, where she attended Vassar College. After four years there, she returned to Berkeley. Not only was the city home for Berzon, but she also attended the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she could further pursue her passion for writing. She received her master’s in journalism from the school in 2006.
After her career as a student was over, Berzon went on to report for many different news companies, including the Anchorage Daily News, San Antonio Express-News, National Public Radio, and Red Herring, a magazine centered around technology and business. While she was writing for the Las Vegas Sun in 2008, she published a series of investigative stories that looked at the deaths of numerous construction workers on the Las Vegas Strip. Eight different accidents saw the loss of nine total workers, and it was this recurring tragic pattern that prompted Berzon to turn her attention to the matter. She found out that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was very casual in their enforcement of regulations due to a very strong relationship with the building companies themselves. This neglect caused many deaths of construction workers that could have been avoided. Berzon’s series exposed this and her work on the topic earned her both the Hillman Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The series was even cited in congressional hearings about the OSHA, which resulted in the changing of certain policies to create a safer working environment for workers.
Currently, Berzon is based in Los Angeles. She works for the Wall Street Journal as a member of the investigations group. Most recently, she has been working on investigating Donald Trump’s business affairs. Only a few decades after graduating from CA, she has already accomplished a great amount in the field of journalism, and the future could hold many more such accomplishments for Berzon.