Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced for 2010
Columbia University Announces 94th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama And Music
New York, NY (April 12, 2010)-The 94th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced today by Columbia University.
The winners in each category, along with the names of the finalists in the competition, follow:
A. PRIZES IN JOURNALISM
1. PUBLIC SERVICE
For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, video and other online material, presented in print or online or both, a gold medal.
Awarded to the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier for the work of Daniel Gilbert in illuminating the murky mismanagement of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of land owners in southwest Virginia, spurring remedial action by state lawmakers.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Asbury Park Press for its exhaustive examination of how an archaic property tax system harms New Jersey's economy and ordinary families, using stories and interactive databases to spark pledges of statewide reform, and Los Angeles Times and ProPublica, a joint entry, for their exposure of gaps in California's oversight of dangerous and incompetent nurses, blending investigative scrutiny and multimedia storytelling to produce corrective changes.
2. BREAKING NEWS REPORTING
For a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news, with special emphasis on the speed and accuracy of the initial coverage, presented in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to The Seattle Times Staff for its comprehensive coverage, in print and online, of the shooting deaths of four police officers in a coffee house and the 40-hour manhunt for the suspect.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: The Staff of The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., for its sweeping coverage of 44 arrests in a widespread corruption scandal that snared local officials, several religious leaders and others, and The Washington Post Staff for its compelling coverage of an Army psychiatrist, with long ties to Washington, who killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a Texas military base.
3. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
For a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single article or series, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Two Prizes of $10,000 each:
Awarded to Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News for their resourceful reporting that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad, resulting in an FBI probe and the review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal.
Awarded to Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine, for a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital's exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. (Moved by the Board from the Feature Writing category.)
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Michael Moss and members of The New York Times Staff for relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues that, in print and online, spotlighted defects in federal regulation and led to improved practices (Moved by the Board to the Explanatory Reporting category), and Michael Braga, Chris Davis and Matthew Doig of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for their in-depth reporting and computer analysis that unraveled $10 billion in suspicious Florida real estate transactions, triggering local and state efforts to curb abuses.
4. EXPLANATORY REPORTING
For a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Michael Moss and members of The New York Times Staff for relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues that, in print and online, spotlighted defects in federal regulation and led to improved practices. (Moved by the Board from the Investigative category.)
Nominated as finalists in this category were: Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his path-breaking coverage of how invasive aquatic creatures have disrupted the ecosystem of the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, illuminating the science and politics of an important national issue; The New York Times Staff, and notably Gina Kolata, for their exploration of the lack of progress in the 40-year war on cancer, combining explanation of scientific complexity and the exposure of myths with an empathetic portrayal of the human suffering caused by the disease, and Kirsten Grind, Jeanne Lang Jones and Alwyn Scott of the Puget Sound (Wash.) Business Journal, a weekly, for their meticulous examination of the collapse of Washington Mutual, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history, plumbing causes and raising troubling questions about federal regulation.
5. LOCAL REPORTING
For a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for her penetrating reports on the fraud and abuse in a child-care program for low-wage working parents that fleeced taxpayers and imperiled children, resulting in a state and federal crackdown on providers.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Dave Philipps of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, for his painstaking stories on the spike in violence within a battered combat brigade returning to Fort Carson after bloody deployments to Iraq, leading to increased mental health care for soldiers, and Ben Montgomery, Waveney Ann Moore and photographer Edmund D. Fountain of the St. Petersburg Times for their dogged reporting and searing storytelling that illuminated decades of abuse at a Florida reform school for boys and sparked remedial action.
6. NATIONAL REPORTING
For a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times Staff for incisive work, in print and online, on the hazardous use of cell phones, computers and other devices while operating cars and trucks, stimulating widespread efforts to curb distracted driving.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian of the Los Angeles Times for their tenacious reporting on how design flaws and weak federal oversight contributed to a potentially lethal problem with Toyota vehicles, resulting in corrective steps and a congressional inquiry, and Greg Gordon, Kevin G. Hall and Chris Adams of McClatchy Newspapers for their examination of the nation's financial collapse and notably on the involvement of Goldman Sachs.
7. INTERNATIONAL REPORTING
For a distinguished example of reporting on international affairs, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Anthony Shadid of The Washington Post for his rich, beautifully written series on Iraq as the United States departs and the Iraqis struggle to deal with the legacy of war and to shape their nation's future.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times for his coverage of the disputed election in Iran and its bloody aftermath, marked by firsthand knowledge and close-up portraits of individuals caught up in events, and David Rohde of The New York Times for his riveting account of being held prisoner by the Taliban for seven months before his dramatic escape, using his eye for detail to depict memorably his militant captors.
8. FEATURE WRITING
For a distinguished example of feature writing giving prime consideration to quality of writing, originality and concision, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post for his haunting story about parents, from varying walks of life, who accidentally kill their children by forgetting them in cars.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Dan Barry of The New York Times for his portfolio of closely observed pieces that movingly capture how the great recession is changing lives and relationships in America, and Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine, for a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital's exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. (Moved by the Board to the Investigative category.)
For distinguished commentary, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post for her perceptive, often witty columns on an array of political and moral issues, gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: David Leonhardt of The New York Times for his illumination of the nation's most pressing and complex economic concerns, from health care reform to the worst recession in decades, and Phillip Morris of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, for his columns that close the distance between the reader and the rough streets of the city, confronting hard realities without leaving people to feel hopeless.
For distinguished criticism, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Sarah Kaufman of The Washington Post for her refreshingly imaginative approach to dance criticism, illuminating a range of issues and topics with provocative comments and original insights.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Michael Feingold of The Village Voice, a New York City weekly, for his engaging, authoritative drama reviews that fuse passion and knowledge as he helps readers understand what makes a play or a performance successful, and A.O. Scott of The New York Times for his incisive film reviews that, with aplomb, embrace a wide spectrum of movies and often explore their connection to larger issues in society or the arts.
11. EDITORIAL WRITING
For distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson and William McKenzie of The Dallas Morning News for their relentless editorials deploring the stark social and economic disparity between the city's better-off northern half and distressed southern half.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: John G. Carlton of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for his editorials on health care reform that cut through the clutter, debunk myths and often bring the national debate home to Missouri, and John McCormick and Marie Dillon of the Chicago Tribune for their unyielding editorials urging reform of a culture of corruption in Illinois state government, repeatedly sounding the alarm when lawmakers faltered.
12. EDITORIAL CARTOONING
For a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing and pictorial effect, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Mark Fiore, self syndicated, for his animated cartoons appearing on SFGate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle Web site, where his biting wit, extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Tony Auth of The Philadelphia Inquirer for his masterful simplicity in expressing consistently fearless positions on national and local issues, and Matt Wuerker of Politico for his broad portfolio that encompasses the nation's historic political year, using rich artistry, wry humor and sometimes animation to drive home his deft satire.
13. BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
For a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register for her photograph of the heart-stopping moment when a rescuer dangling in a makeshift harness tries to save a woman trapped in the foaming water beneath a dam.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Staff of the Associated Press for its unforgettable images that take viewers to the frontlines of America's war in Afghanistan, recording a range of scenes and emotions, from mirth to pain and sorrow, and Staff of the New York Daily News for its compelling and remarkably complete photo coverage of the miraculous landing of a US Airways jetliner in the Hudson River off Manhattan without loss of life.
14. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
For a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post for his intimate portrait of a teenager who joins the Army at the height of insurgent violence in Iraq, poignantly searching for meaning and manhood.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Mary F. Calvert, freelance photojournalist, for her courageous work published in The Washington Times that vividly documents how rapes, by the tens of thousands, have become a weapon of war in Congo, and Robert Cohen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for his sensitive portrayal of homeless suburban families camping in motels during the recession, often recording memorable emotional moments.
B. LETTERS AND DRAMA PRIZES
For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "Tinkers," by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press), a powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Love in Infant Monkeys," by Lydia Millet (Soft Skull Press), an imaginative collection of linked stories, often describing a memorable encounter between a famous person and an animal, underscoring the human folly of longing for significance while chasing trifles, and "In Other Rooms, Other Wonders," by Daniyal Mueenuddin (W.W. Norton & Company), a collection of beautifully crafted stories that exposes the Western reader to the hopes, dreams and dramas of an array of characters in feudal Pakistan, resulting in both an aesthetic and cultural achievement.
For a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "Next to Normal," music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals. (Moved into contention by the Board within the Drama category.)
Nominated as finalists in this category were: "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," by Kristoffer Diaz, a play invoking the exaggerated role-playing of professional wrestling to explore themes from globalization to ethnic stereotyping, as the audience becomes both intimate insider and ringside spectator; "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," by Rajiv Joseph, a play about the chaotic Iraq war that uses a network of characters, including a caged tiger, to ponder violent, senseless death, blending social commentary with tragicomic mayhem, and "In the Next Room or the vibrator play," by Sarah Ruhl, an inventive work that mixes comedy and drama as it examines the medical practice of a 19th century American doctor and confronts questions of female sexuality and emancipation.
For a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World," by Liaquat Ahamed (The Penguin Press), a compelling account of how four powerful bankers played crucial roles in triggering the Great Depression and ultimately transforming the United States into the world's financial leader.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City," by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company), an evocative, heavily researched examination of an industrial giant's grandiose scheme to create a model rubber plantation deep in the Amazon forest, and "Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815," by Gordon S. Wood (Oxford University Press), a lucid exploration of a turbulent era when a profoundly changing America, despite the sin of slavery, came to see itself as a beacon to the world, demonstrating human capacity for self-government.
For a distinguished and appropriately documented biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt," by T.J Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf), a penetrating portrait of a complex, self-made titan who revolutionized transportation, amassed vast wealth and shaped the economic world in ways still felt today.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Cheever: A Life," by Blake Bailey (Alfred A. Knopf), an absorbing, impeccably researched exploration of the famed writer John Cheever, illuminating his greatness as well as flaws, told in a compelling voice worthy of the subject, and "Woodrow Wilson: A Biography," by John Milton Cooper, Jr. (Alfred A. Knopf), a magisterial work that corrects erroneous perceptions and casts important new light on one of the most pivotal and enigmatic American presidents, fully placing the man in the context of his times.
For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "Versed," by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press), a book striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness, offering poems that are often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Tryst," by Angie Estes (Oberlin College Press), a collection of poems remarkable for its variety of subjects, array of genres and nimble use of language, and "Inseminating the Elephant," by Lucia Perillo (Copper Canyon Press), a collection of poems, often laced with humor, that examine popular culture, the limits of the human body and the tragicomic aspects of everyday experience.
6. GENERAL NONFICTION
For a distinguished and appropriately documented book of nonfiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy," by David E. Hoffman (Doubleday), a well documented narrative that examines the terrifying doomsday competition between two superpowers and how weapons of mass destruction still imperil humankind.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities," by John Cassidy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a work that probes the complexity of the Great Recession, using solid research and precise documentation to reveal not only a gripping human drama but also a tense clash of ideas, and "The Evolution of God," by Robert Wright (Little, Brown and Company), a sweeping and perceptive look at the origins and development of religious belief throughout human history.
C. PRIZE IN MUSIC
For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to "Violin Concerto," by Jennifer Higdon (Lawdon Press), premiered on February 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, IN, a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "String Quartet No. 3," by Fred Lerdahl, premiered on December 8, 2009, in Cleveland, Ohio, a remarkable work that displays impeccable technical facility and palpable emotion, and "Steel Hammer," by Julia Wolfe (G. Schirmer, Inc.), premiered on November 13, 2009, in Gainesville, FL, an innovative composition that, with voices and old-time instruments, turns the old folk tune "John Henry" into an epic distillation of Appalachia.
A posthumous Special Citation to Hank Williams for his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life.
The Pulitzer Prize Board made its recommendations for the 2010 prizes when it met at Columbia on April 8 and 9 and passed them to President Lee C. Bollinger. It announced that the awards would be presented at a luncheon on May 24 at Columbia University.
Paul Gigot, Thomas L. Friedman and Greg Moore were re-elected to membership on the board.
The members of the Pulitzer Prize Board are: President Bollinger; Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation professor of social science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University; Jim Amoss, editor, The New Orleans Times-Picayune; Randell Beck, president and publisher, Argus Leader Media; Amanda Bennett, executive editor/enterprise, Bloomberg News; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president, Associated Press; Joyce Dehli, vice president for news, Lee Enterprises; Thomas L. Friedman, columnist, The New York Times; Paul Gigot, editorial page editor and vice president, The Wall Street Journal; Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor, The Miami Herald (chair); David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan professor of history emeritus, Stanford University; Nicholas Lemann, dean, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University; Ann Marie Lipinski, vice president for civic engagement, University of Chicago; Gregory L. Moore, editor, The Denver Post; Paul Tash, editor, CEO and chairman, St. Petersburg Times; Jim VandeHei, executive editor, Politico; Keven Ann Willey, vice president/editorial page editor, The Dallas Morning News; and Sig Gissler, administrator of the Prizes.
In any category in which board members have an interest due to the action of the various nominating juries, those members do not participate in the discussion and voting and leave the room until a decision is reached in the affected category. Similarly, members of nominating juries do not participate in the discussion of or voting on entries in which they have an interest.
PULITZER PRIZES FACT SHEET -- 2010
· More than 2,500 entries are submitted each year to the Pulitzer Prize competition and only 21 prizes are awarded.
· The year-long process begins with the appointment of 102 distinguished jurors who serve on separate juries and make three recommendations in each of 21 categories.
· In the 14 Journalism categories, 1,103 entries were submitted, up slightly from the previous year's total of 1,028.
· In Journalism, there was a robust competition with finalists coming from 28 different news organizations. Winners represented 10 organizations.
· The 2009 Journalism competition was expanded to include online-only news organizations "primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories." We had 100 entries from 50 different online-only entities, an increase.
· One primarily online organization, Politico, was a finalist -- in Cartooning.
· We had substantial online content, most of it from newspapers. Online material was found in more than one-fourth of all Journalism entries, an increase over past years.
· Online content played in a role in six winning entries: Public Service, Breaking News Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting and National Reporting and Editorial Cartooning.
· In the arts categories, juries reviewed 1,159 books and 161 Music entries (down slightly) and 79 plays (increase).
· The Board is composed of 19 members, 17 of whom are voting members.
· Members serve a maximum of three three-year terms.
· Juries range in size. Journalism juries have five or seven members, depending on the volume in a category. Book juries have three members. Music and Drama juries have five members.
· Each jury recommends three finalists - no more, no less - without statement of preference.
· The Board makes the final decisions after evaluating all the nominated finalists and considering jury reports.
· Prizes are awarded by majority vote of the Board but the Board is also empowered to vote "no prize" or by three-fourths vote to switch nominations among categories or to select any entry that has not been nominated by a jury.
· In Drama, after a three-fourths vote, the prize went to a musical that had not been nominated by the jury.
· Two entries - in Explanatory Reporting and Feature Writing - won after being moved by the Board following a three-fourths vote.
· Two prizes were given in Investigative Reporting (after one entry was moved from Feature Writing).
· Two prizes went to repeat winners: Anthony Shadid (International) and Gene Weingarten (Feature Writing).
· The prizes will be awarded at a luncheon on May 24 at Columbia's Low Library.
Symbol of the Prizes
• The iconic Gold Medal is awarded each year to the American newspaper that wins the Public Service category. It is never awarded to an individual. However, through the years, the Medal has come to symbolize the entire Pulitzer program.