The Oregonian celebrated winning the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing on Monday ? the sixth time staffers at Oregon’s largest newspaper have been awarded journalism’s highest honor.
Associate editors Doug Bates and Rick Attig won the Pulitzer for a a series of editorials about crowded and understaffed conditions at the Oregon State Hospital.
Bob Caldwell, editorial page editor, said the aim of the 15-part series, “Oregon’s Forgotten Hospital,” was to draw attention to the shameful state of the hospital and to make things happen to help Oregon’s neglected mentally ill.
The editorials helped prompt action by state officials to remove adolescents from the premises, and helped lead to passage of a mental health insurance parity measure.
It is the paper’s fourth Pulitzer since 1999. In 2001, the newspaper won two prizes, including the award for public service for a series on immigration and the award for feature writing for the story, “The Boy Behind the Mask.”
Bates and Attig are members of the newspaper’s editorial board.
Bates joined The Oregonian in 1993. He previously worked as assistant managing editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, news editor of The Seattle Times and managing editor of The Register-Guard in Eugene.
A native of Oregon, Attig joined The Oregonian in 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and worked at The Springfield News and the Bend Bulletin.