Veteran prize-winning reporter Tyler Bridges will become a staff writer with The Lens on Oct. 1, focusing on state-level public-policy decisions that affect the New Orleans area.

Bridges is returning to New Orleans after a 16-year hiatus that took him from The Times-Picayune to The Miami Herald, where he was part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting teams. After covering politics in Tallahassee and Miami, he served as a foreign correspondent in South America.

Tyler Bridges

Bridges spent the past year at Harvard University on a prestigious Nieman Fellowship, studying coverage of politics and government in digital media.

From 1989 to 1996, Bridges reported for The Times-Picayune on the political career of David Duke, covered the 1991 Duke-Edwin Edwards gubernatorial race – which gave rise to the “Vote for the Crook” slogan – and chronicled the advent of legalized gambling in Louisiana through a series of investigative reports.

From those reports, he authored two books, “The Rise of David Duke” and “Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Edwin Edwards.”

Bridges is a four-time recipient of the New Orleans Press Club’s annual award for best investigative reporter.

“Tyler’s drive, talent and unrelenting curiosity will add a new dimension to our public-interest reporting,” Lens Managing Editor Steve Beatty said. “Tyler is the kind of reporter who doesn’t just dig up problems. He also looks for solutions and gives our readers the context they need to fully understand a situation, letting them draw their own conclusions.”

“Like any good reporter, Tyler has kept in touch with his many Louisiana sources over the years, and he’ll be able to quickly bring unique reporting to The Lens and our partners.”

And like many who have reported from New Orleans, Bridges said he’s looking forward to returning to this news-rich city.

“After a fabulous Nieman year of study, I’m looking forward to getting back to on-the-ground reporting that can make a difference in the community,” he said. “It all comes together at The Lens. I’m thrilled to be joining such an established news site with a growing reputation.” (He wrote an essay explaining why he wanted to “get back in the game” in Louisiana.)

Bridges has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University, speaks Spanish fluently and he knows his way around a trombone.