Pulitzers: The Winning Spread

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By: Joe Strupp

The Pulitzer Prize Board spread the wealth around this year in its choices for the 89th annual awards, with just two newspapers, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, winning more than one prize. Even an alternative weekly, Willamette Week, of Portland, Ore., took a prize ? marking just the fifth time a weekly had won a Pulitzer, with the last being The Village Voice (for international reporting) in 2000.

“The prizes were spread across 13 news organizations, and 27 were among the finalists with an interesting variety,” Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler said on April 4 after revealing the winners at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

War and weather provided a number of subjects that received notice. Both photography nods went to Iraq-related photos, while another four finalists received mentions for Iraq-inspired work. On the weather front, six winners and finalists took accolades for bringing insight into hurricanes, tornadoes, and the devastating tsunami. The sexual behavior of two governors, Neil Goldschmidt of Oregon and Jim McGreevey of New Jersey, provided issues that garnered Pulitzer honors for Willamette Week and The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

The number of Pulitzer Prize journalism entries was down this year, at 1,326 entries for work done in 2004 (compared to 1,423 for 2003). Once again the secret list of finalists was leaked early on by judges, but the winners were, more or less, kept under wraps until the official unveiling.

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