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Bloomberg gets its first Pulitzer

Goliath came out of the shadows Monday.

Bloomberg News won its first Pulitzer for engrossing work by reporter Zachary Mider on corporate tax avoidance.

His stories were cited for a “painstaking, clear and entertaining explanation of how so many U.S. corporations dodge taxes and why lawmakers and regulators have a hard time stopping them,” according to the formal statement by the Pulitzer board.

“I am delighted for Zach – and also for Matt Winkler who spent 25 years building one of the world’s great news organizations at a time when quality journalism elsewhere has been shrinking. I hope he will now get the credit he deserves,” wrote John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, in an email.

Winkler is his predecessor who with Michael Bloomberg largely oversaw the creation and emergence of Bloomberg as both a financial industry and financial news staple. Read more

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For the photojournalists who covered Ferguson, winning a Pulitzer is ‘an odd feeling’

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers worked to break up a group of bystanders on Chambers Road near West Florissant on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers worked to break up a group of bystanders on Chambers Road near West Florissant on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

On Monday afternoon, a few hours after winning a Pulitzer for breaking news photography with the photo staff at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson went right back to work. Earlier, there was a little champagne and a cake that went uncut for while. The newsroom was proud of the win, Carson said, but it’s hard to celebrate something that started with a young man losing his life.

“It’s a funny feeling,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words for me right now.”

Post-Dispatch photojournalist Robert Cohen couldn’t find the right words either. Read more


Here’s what it’s like to win a Pulitzer

I spoke with four Pulitzer-Prize winners to find out how winning has changed their lives and affected their journalism. All three said the prize opens doors but it also adds pressure to live up to the high expectations of having “Pulitzer Prize Winner” on your resume. spoke with:

Jacqui Banaszynski,
Knight Chair professor at the University of Missouri. She won a Pulitzer in 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.  She was working at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. The stories were about the life and death of an AIDS victim in a rural farm community.

photoDiana Sugg, contract editor for special projects, The Baltimore Sun. Sugg was a medical reporter when she reported a series of stories about stillbirths. Her stories told how “thousands of babies, many full-term, are dying every year, and few researchers have ever investigated why.” Her stories also included an examination of how some hospital emergency rooms are allowing families to be with loved ones in the last moments of life and yet another story examined why promising therapy for stroke was being held up in debates. Read more

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Among the Pulitzer finalists, traditional treatments dominate

All hail the Pulitzer winners! But as a bridesmaid myself long ago (National Reporting, 1982), I always give the list of finalists a careful read as well.

Here are some quick takeaways on trends among the 27 entries that took place and show in this year’s judging:

*The New York Times can’t win everything.  Besides scoring the most winners with three The New York Times had an additional five finalists.  The Pulitzer board sees all nominees and can thus produce a balanced ticket of winners.  The separate juries, which pick the finalists, operate independently of each other. So it is fair to say the Times’s work bubbles to the top in many and diverse categories.

*Winners and runners-up were frequently from the same organizationsRead more


Women won more individual Pulitzers this year than they have in the last 5

2015’s Pulitzer jury awarded more prizes to individual women in journalism categories than it has since 2010. Five women won individual awards this year, and one woman won as part of a team, according to the Pulitzer site.

Here are 2015’s individual female winners, not including women who won as part of a team or staff:

National Reporting: Carol D. Leonnig of The Washington Post

Feature writing: Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle

Criticism: Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times

Editorial writing: Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe

While 2014 saw only one female winner in a journalism category (Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer), 2013 had no individual winners. There was one individual winner in 2012 and there were three in 2011Read more


Daily Breeze managing editor: ‘We are stunned’

When the Daily Breeze won a journalism award earlier this year, someone tipped staffers off, telling them to watch the ceremony. They gathered together and celebrated the announcement over some doughnuts.

This morning, when the Pulitzer Prizes were being announced, things were different, said Toni Sciacqua, the managing editor at the newspaper. The staff got no such tip, and no one had high hopes for a win. Still, she said, they were each surreptitiously watching the announcement on their individual computers, not wanting to appear too hopeful.

Sciacqua was sitting in her office next to the newsroom when she got the first indicator that the paper had won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. She heard a scream from Frank Suraci, the city editor, who exclaimed “Oh my god, are you kidding me?” as the announcement was made. Read more

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Champagne in plastic cups and other Pulitzer celebrations

The Pulitzer Prizes are one of journalism’s most prestigious awards, an honor that any newsroom would be incredibly proud of.

And how does one celebrate such a lofty success? With speeches, champagne and lots of hugging.

Here’s how some of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners celebrated their wins:

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Here are the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners


The 99th annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday. Here’s a look at the winners:

Public Service Reporting

Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina for the series “Till Death Do Us Part.”

Finalists: The Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal

Breaking News Reporting

The Seattle Times for coverage of the Oso mudslide.

Finalists: Staff at The Buffalo News and the Los Angeles Times

Investigative Reporting

Eric Lipton, The New York Times, for a series of stories on lobbying, and Wall Street Journal staff for “Medicare Unmasked.”

Finalists: The Chicago Tribune’s David Jackson, Duaa Eldeib and Gary Marx.

Explanatory Reporting

Zachary R. Mider, Bloomberg News, for a series on taxes.

Finalists: The Denver Post’s John Ingold, Joe Amon and Lindsay Pierce, and Reuters’ Joan Biskupic, Janet Roberts and John Shiffman

Local Reporting

Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci, Daily Breeze, Torrance, California for an investigation into a corrupt school district. Read more


The Pulitzer Prizes by the numbers

In advance of the announcement of the Pulitzer Prizes at 3 p.m. today, here are some interesting facts surrounding the creation and administration of journalism’s most prestigious awards. The facts are from the official website of the Pulitzer Prizes, unless otherwise noted.

21: The number of prizes normally awarded by the Pulitzer Prizes every year.
2,400: The Prizes see more than this number of entries submitted annually.
102: The number of judges that make nominations for the prizes.
20: The number of juries that those judges sit on.
$10,000: The amount of money Pulitzer winners receive in addition to their award.
Two and three-quarter inches: The diameter of the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal, which is awarded yearly to the winner in the Public Service category. Read more

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20 years later, The Oklahoman’s editor remembers almost everything about that day

Front page from The Oklahoman.

Front page from The Oklahoman.

Kelly Dyer Fry can’t remember the day of the week that Timothy McVeigh parked a van outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, detonated the explosives inside and killed 168 people. But she remembers everything else.

“I even remember what I was wearing,” said Dyer Fry, who was then the features editor at The Oklahoman and is now the paper’s editor-in-chief. She wore a blue and white striped skirt and top. “And I remember thinking it’s time to switch to spring clothes.”

Dyer Fry was in The Oklahoman’s building that morning when she felt the building shake. She was on the ninth floor and thought that maybe a news helicopter had crashed into the building. She remembers Jim Argo, a photojournalist with the paper, walking down the hallway with a cup of coffee in one hand. Read more


Rumors about Pulitzer winners have been scarce

As newsrooms prepare for today’s 3 p.m. YouTube livestream of the Pulitzer Prize revelations – identifying 2015’s top U.S. journalism awards in 14 categories – rumors about winners and finalists have seemed scarce.

Unlike the Academy Awards and other major competitions, Pulitzer finalists officially are kept secret in advance. When winners are announced, two finalists in each division, typically, are listed at the same time. Back in February, panels of jurors selected three “nominated finalists”; the Pulitzer board made the final choices in meetings last Thursday and Friday.

Until five years ago, an elaborate rumor mill “outed” most finalists early – something that was interrupted only by a concerted effort by now-retired Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler, who managed to get jurors to hold their nominations close to the vest. Read more


Washington Post reporter formally charged with espionage

The Washington Post | Wash Post PR

Jason Rezaian, the Tehran bureau chief at The Washington Post, has been formally charged with spying in addition to counts of “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment,” Carol Morello writes for The Washington Post.

News of the official accusations end months of uncertainty surrounding the crimes Rezaian is accused of committing. When he was arrested in July, Rezaian was not formally charged. An earlier report from the Iran-affiliated Fars news agency said Rezaian would face espionage charges, but it did not specify where the information came from, according to The Associated Press.

In a statement, Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron called the charges “ludicrous.”

The grave charges against Jason that Iran has now disclosed could not be more ludicrous.

Read more

‘Serial’ wins Peabody award

ABC News | Peabody Awards

Serial,” “Radiolab” and and Vice News are among the winners of the 2014 Peabody Awards, prizes given by the University of Georgia honoring excellence in television and radio.

This year’s award class saw “new players and platforms” find their way onto the list of perennial winners including NPR, CNN and NBC, according to the announcement:

In addition to the stalwarts of radio and news, winners such as ‘Serial’ and VICE News demonstrate how new avenues and approaches to storytelling can have a major impact on how we understand truth, reality, and events,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Jones, Director of the Peabody Awards.

Among the winners:

Read more

Career Beat: Meredith Kopit Levien named Chief Revenue Officer at NYT

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Meredith Kopit Levien is now chief revenue officer at The New York Times. Previously, she was executive vice president for advertising there. (The New York Times)
  • Matt Ericson is now associate editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was deputy graphics director there. (The New York Times)
  • Joyce Jenereaux is now president and publisher of the Detroit Free Press. Previously, she was president there. (Gannett)
  • David Chivers is now president and publisher of The Des Moines Register. Previously, he was chief digital officer at Jostens. (Gannett)
  • Danielle Kurtzleben will be a political data blogger at NPR. Previously, she was a business correspondent at Vox. (email)

Job of the day: The Hill is looking for a campaign editor. Read more


Academic research: ‘Huge growth’ in fact checking by the media

As some wring their hands about a decline in newsroom resources and quality, there’s a “huge growth” in fact checking in the coverage of politics, according to a new academic study.

Several thousand papers were delivered at the Midwest Political Science Association conference, including, “Where and Why Do Journalists Fact-Check.” The paper contends that reporters now fact-check politicians more than ever. One co-author describes it as an “explosion” that coincides with an obvious growth in the coverage of national politics.

“Every single elite organization engages in visible fact checking of politics,” Lucas Graves of the University of Wisconsin told a small audience on Thursday as he sketched the study’s preliminary findings.

“There are scores of dedicated fact-checking outlets that didn’t exist even five years ago.”

He cited the first dedicated fact-checking site as Spinsanity, launched in 2001 by one of his co-authors, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College. Read more