Despite the crisis, economy stories fail to win Pulitzers

Posted on April 21, 2009


The New York Times dominated the Pulitzer Prizes announced Monday, winning five of the coveted awards for investigative, breaking news and international reporting, feature photography and criticism.

The Las Vegas Sun won the most prestigious Public Service Prize for reporting on the high death rate among construction workers on the Las Vegas strip, according to the board of the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music.

The strength of the prize winners’ work shows the power and significance of print journalism, said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzers.

Newspapers are suffering badly in the recession, with massive job losses, elimination of sections and cancellation of home delivery. A few have ceased publication, slashed salaries and filed for bankruptcy.

“The watchdog still barks. The watchdog still bites,” Gissler said. “Who would be doing this day to day if we didn’t have newspapers?”

None of the prizes went to stories about the economy or the financial crisis.

The Wall Street Journal, one of the nation’s most prestigious daily papers, did not win a prize this year.

The paper has not won a Pulitzer since Rupert Murdoch bought it through News Corp’spurchase of Dow Jones & Co in December 2007. In the previous 10 years, the Journal won Pulitzers in all but two years.

This marked the first year that entries from news organizations that publish entirely on the Internet could compete in the journalism categories.

Despite the growth of online journalism, there were no online winners and only, a largely online outlet, was a finalist in editorial cartooning, said Gissler. The editorial cartooning prize went to Steve Breen of The San Diego Union Tribune.
The New York Times staff won the breaking news reporting award for coverage of a sex scandal that led to the resignation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and international reporting for coverage of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan under dangerous conditions.

 The Times won for investigative reporting by David Barstow on retired U.S. generals who were working as media analysts and co-opted by the Pentagon to defend the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

[Source: Reuters]

Posted in: Uncategorized