Pulitzer Prizes

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.

Poynter.org 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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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

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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


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


8 lesser known stories the Pulitzer committee should know about

Related: Roy J. Harris Jr. makes his Pulitzer predictions

National journalism awards have already sniffed out some exceptional journalism that no doubt will be top Pulitzer contenders: The Arizona Republic’s exceptional work investigating VA hospitals, The New York Times’ coverage of Ebola in Western Africa and The St Louis Post-Dispatch’s coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting and protests all have rightfully been cited as among 2014’s best journalism. But let me tell you about some other reporting in print and online that deserves your attention.

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.17.52 PMOne of my favorite investigations of 2014 was “Subsidized Squalor” by the Center for Investigative Reporting and a host of partners. I loved the project from the first sentence, “There are 4,055 public housing agencies across the U.S., and we’ve spent the past year writing about one of the worst.” People living in Richmond, California’s public housing lived with rodents and sewage CIR created a unit-by-unit interactive graphic so you could see what was wrong in each unit.
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Investigative Reporting Pulitzer entries up 50 percent since magazines were allowed in

Since The Pulitzer Prizes changed the rules to allow online and print magazines, the contest has seen a 50 percent increase in investigative entries compared to last year, Mike Pride, the administrator of The Pulitzer Prizes, said in an email.

Feature submissions, meanwhile, have seen a 21 percent increase, Pride said. The number of entries for all categories, which usually number around 1,100, this year totals 1,191.

Investigative reporting entries, which last year totaled 75, this year number 112, Pride said. Feature submissions, which numbered 127 in 2014, increased to 154.

In December, The Pulitzer Prizes announced it was opening the competition to online and print magazines for the first time. Pride told Poynter at the time that the change was meant to recognize an increasing amount of magazines reporting under tighter deadline pressure. Read more

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