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April 12, 2010, 3:10 pm

Washington Post Wins 4 Pulitzers, New York Times Gets 3

The Washington Post won four Pulitzer Prizes on Monday for its work in 2009, and The New York Times won three, while ProPublica became the first of the new breed of online, nonprofit news organizations to win the most prestigious award in print journalism.

Lens Blog
The Photography Winners

75 ThumbnailSome of the winning photographs by Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post and Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register.

The prize for public service went to the tiny Bristol Herald Courier of southwestern Virginia, circulation 29,000, for revealing that many energy companies failed to pay required royalties on natural gas drilling, and that the royalties that were paid were not reaching the local people who deserved them.

Paul Harding won the fiction prize for his novel “Tinkers,” while the drama award went to the musical “Next to Normal,” with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey.

Liaquat Ahamed won the history award for “Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World,” the biography prize went to T.J. Stiles for “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt” and the general nonfiction prize went to David E. Hoffman for “The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy.”

Jennifer Higdon won the music prize for her Violin Concerto, while the poetry award went to Rae Armantrout for “Versed.”

At The Post, Kathleen Parker, a conservative political columnist, won the award for commentary; Sarah Kaufman won for criticism for her writing on dance; a Washington Post magazine article by Gene Weingarten about parents who cause the death of their children by leaving them in sweltering cars won the prize for feature writing; and Anthony Shadid, a longtime Iraq correspondent, won for international reporting. Mr. Shadid, who now works for The Times, also won the international prize for his Iraq coverage in 2004, and he was a finalist in 2007. Mr. Weingarten’s prize is also his second; he won for feature writing in 2008.

Sheri Fink won in the investigative category, for a joint project of ProPublica and The New York Times, for her extraordinarily detailed reconstruction of what had been described as euthanasia by doctors at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, after they were stranded by Hurricane Katrina. Ms. Fink, a doctor, is a staff writer for ProPublica, and the article was published in The New York Times Magazine.

Michael Moss and members of The Times staff won in the explanatory category, for his investigation of the dangers of contaminated meat, and Matt Richtel and members of The Times staff won for his series, “Driven to Distraction,” about the potentially fatal threat posed by drivers who indulge in texting and other electronic distractions.

Also winning a prize for investigative reporting were Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of The Philadelphia Daily News for exposing a rogue police narcotics squad.

The award is a landmark for ProPublica, founded in 2007, and the other digital news outlets that have sprouted around the country. Over the last few years, the Pulitzer Prize board has relaxed the eligibility rules, allowing news sites to submit work published only online; this year there were many such submissions.

Raquel Rutledge of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won the local reporting prize, for exposing fraud in Wisconsin’s child care subsidy program, a series of articles that led to criminal indictments and changes in state law. The Journal Sentinel has become a regular contender for the prizes, having won one in 2008, and been a finalist in 2003, 2006 and 2009.

Coverage of the shooting death of four police officers in a coffee shop won the breaking news award for the staff of The Seattle Times.

Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register won the news photography award 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,” while the feature photography prize went 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.”  View Mr. Walker’s images on the Lens blog here.

Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson and William McKenzie of The Dallas Morning News shared the award for editorial writing. Mark Fiore, a self-syndicated cartoonist, won the editorial cartooning award for his work that appears on SFGate.com.

The Pulitzer board also voted a special, posthumous citation to country singer-songwriter Hank Williams, “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 complete list of winners and finalists, as well as the official citations, is available on the Pulitzer Web site.

More coverage from The Times of the winners and finalists in arts and letters can be found here and the journalism winners and finalists here.


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