|Awards||Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting|
When she was growing up, Boxall did not have a deep desire to become a reporter. But in high school she became editor of The Maine Campus which was why she chose journalism as her major in university. At that point she developed an interest in photojournalism. She also enjoyed her Geology class with Professor Stephen Norton. It was some of that early study that laid the groundwork for her Pulitzer Prize. She explained, “on both the exams and field trips, he demanded that his students think rather than regurgitate information. The facts were just the foundation for critical thinking. That was a valuable lesson to learn as a journalist.”
Boxall began her journalistic career as a photographer at the San Marcos Daily Record – a small daily paper in Texas. She also did reports for newspapers in Vermont and New Jersey. Her main area of journalistic expertise is in environmentalism. For four years after that she worked as a staff writer and photographer at the Bennington Banner in New England. Following on from that she worked on the court beat and started to cover regional environmental issues at The Record in New Jersey. She started working at The Los Angeles Times in 1987 at the Southeast/Long Beach bureau. In 2002 she covered water issues and the environment.
In the 1990s Boxall started getting a name for herself as she was covering gay rights and AIDS in California, at the time “gay marriage and other issues were bubbling to the surface, signaling profound social shifts.”
Boxall received the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2009 with her colleague Julie Cart. Together they composed a five-part series exploring the causes and effects of escalating wildfire in the West, entitled ‘Big Burn.’ For this, they requested cartons of US Forest Service records, in line with the Freedom of Information Act. They also traveled to Australia, investigating the country’s different firefighting activities. The Pulitzer board said that the series was a “fresh and painstaking exploration into the cost and effectiveness of attempts to combat the growing menace of wildfires.”
- "Bettina BoxallPulitzer Prize Winner for Explanatory Reporting in 2009". Find the Data. Find the Data. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Bettina Boxall '74: A hard-hitting reporter tackles some of the most pressing climate issues of our time". Alumni Association. University of Maine Alumni Association. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Bettina Boxall: Writer". LA Times. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Bettina Boxall '74: A hard-hitting reporter tackles some of the most pressing climate issues of our time". Maine Alumni Association. University of Maine Alumni Association. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Environmental news from California and beyond". LA Times Blogs. LA Times. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Series of articles on wildfires wins Pulitzer Prize". Wildfire Today. Retrieved 6 August 2015.