Raquel Rutledge is an American newspaper reporter. In April 2010 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting; she exposed widespread fraud in the "Wisconsin Shares" child-care system in a yearlong series, "Cashing In on Kids", for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which also won the 2010 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Her work also won the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting and George Polk Awards in 2009.
Rutledge was awarded the Nieman Foundation fellowship at Harvard University in 2011, studying food regulation and its impact on public health. In 2012, she led an investigation into a Wisconsin company responsible for distributing tainted alcohol wipes nationwide, that were ultimately linked to the death of a 2-year-old boy in Texas. That series, "Shattered Trust" won a Gerald Loeb Award among other national honors.
Rutledge also co-authored an investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ use of undercover storefront stings that exposed how agents mishandled operations across the country utilizing people with intellectual disabilities and later charging them with crimes. The “Backfire” investigation was recognized in 2014 with the top award in the print/online category from the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization among other awards. Most recently, Rutledge has uncovered how a chemical known to cause deadly lung disease is endangering coffee workers and those who use e-cigarettes. That series, “Gasping for Action,” has been awarded two top prizes from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a 2016 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Rutledge researched the Gasping for Action series while on the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University.
Rutledge is a Milwaukee native. She graduated from Shorewood High School and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Before joining the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2004, she had worked for the Waukesha Freeman and the Colorado Springs Gazette.