Washington Post researcher Julie Tate is among the winners of this year's Eugene Meyer Awards at the Washington Post, Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth tells staffers in an email. Tate "began her career at The Post occupying a seat in the very back of the newsroom -- in “the library” -- where the job was usually to locate newspaper clips and spell-check names for reporters writing stories," Weymouth writes.
But Julie had her own ideas about research, and they went far beyond what most reporters knew to ask for. They included original reporting that made links between events and people, people and addresses, people and people, and eventually secret things the government was trying to hide. For those reporters who spotted her unique skills, she was a gold mine. They would scheme to get her to work with them because they knew she would find facts and relationships they hadn’t even thought of.
Tate, Weymouth writes, has "shared more Pulitzer Prizes than anyone in the newsroom; in 2005 alone her name was on four of the six won by The Washington Post that year,"
In 2008, Erik Wemple, then the editor of Washington City Paper (where I worked with him), wrote about Tate, calling her an "Unsung Hero"
on pieces like Dana Priest and Anne Hull's series on Walter Reed Hospital
. Tate was previously a fact-checker at The New Yorker and gave a seminar there in fact-checking techniques after its senior editor Peter Canby heard her talk "about search programs she was using that I had never heard of,” he told Wemple.