AAron Ontiveroz, a Denver Post photographer, was among the newspaper’s staff that recently won journalism’s highest honor — the Pulitzer Prize. This is the fourth consecutive year the Post’s journalists have won Pulitzer prizes.
The Post staff won the Pulitzer Monday, April 15, for its overall coverage of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre. The newspaper received the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for its print and digital efforts documenting the mass shooting. Twelve people were killed and at least 58 others were injured when a gunman walked into the Century 16 Theater and began firing during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” last summer.
Ontiveroz, 28, is the son of Liz and Milton Ontiveroz of Laramie and the grandson of longtime Lovell residents Inez and Milt Ontiveroz. AAron is a Northwest College and University of Wyoming graduate and has been a Denver Post staff photographer for two years.
The Post’s winning entry included reporting, photography and video work that was shared online, through social media and in print. The Pulitzer Prize citation singled out the Post staff for using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, and also photography, video and written reports.
The prize recognizes “a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates context and expands upon the initial coverage.”
The Post was a finalist in two other Pulitzer categories this year: in the breaking news photography category for coverage of the Aurora theater shootings and in breaking news for coverage of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs.
Ontiveroz was among Denver Post staff photographers covering both news-breaking events that gained worldwide attention.
As a photojournalist for the Denver Post, Ontiveroz covers a wide-variety of assignments, from breaking news, features and developing portraits of individuals to covering all Denver professional sports including the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Avalanche.
As a college student, he interned at the Powell Tribune, Laramie Daily Boomerang and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. After graduating from UW, he was a Tribune Eagle staff photographer for two years before joining the Denver Post staff.
Ontiveroz is the winner of many Colorado and Wyoming state awards, and also regional and national photography awards. Among his awards is a regional Emmy Award for a video he helped produce last year with Denver Post videographer Mahala Gaylord.