The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which never before had won a Pulitzer Prize, won two on Monday, including the most prestigious one, the gold medal for public service, for a series of articles examining threats to the world’s supply of fish. Walt Handelsman of the Times-Picayune won for editorial cartooning.
The Seattle Times also won two Pulitzer Prizes. One was in beat reporting for Byron Acohido’s exhaustive analysis of rudder control problems on the Boeing 737, the most widely flown commercial jet today; the other was in investigative reporting for the work of Eric Nalder, Deborah Nelson and Alex Tizon in uncovering widespread corruption and inequities in federally sponsored housing programs for American Indians.
Both Seattle Times’ entries triggered major governmental reforms, an outcome that is valued highly by the Pulitzer Prize board, which makes the awards under the aegis of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York.
Other journalism Pulitzer Prizes:
The staff of Newsday on Long Island, N.Y., won the award in local spot news reporting for its “enterprising coverage” of the crash of TWA Flight 800 and its aftermath. It was Newsday’s eighth Pulitzer in the last five years.
Lisa Polk of The Baltimore Sun received the feature writing prize for her “compelling portrait of a baseball umpire who endured the death of a son while knowing that another son suffers from the same deadly genetic disease.” The umpire is John Hirschbeck, who gained worldwide attention last year when Roberto Alomar of the Baltimore Orioles spat on him.
Michael Vitez, Ron Cortes and April Saul of the Philadelphia Inquirer won in explanatory journalism for a series on the choices that confronted seriously ill patients who sought to die with dignity.
The staff of The Wall Street Journal was cited in national reporting for its coverage of the human, scientific and financial struggle against AIDS and of new treatments for the disease.
John F. Burns of The New York Times won in international reporting for “courageous and insightful coverage of the harrowing regime imposed on Afghanistan by the Taliban” insurgents.
Eileen McNamara of the Boston Globe was cited in the commentary category for her columns on Massachusetts people and issues.
Tim Page of The Washington Post won the criticism prize for “lucid and illuminating music criticism.”
Michael Gartner of the Daily Tribune in Ames, Iowa, won in editorial writing for his “common sense editorials about issues deeply affecting the lives of people in his community.” (Gartner is former president of NBC News; his paper, of which he is both chairman and editor, has a daily circulation of only 9,139 and is the kind of small paper the Pulitzer board delights in honoring.)
Annie Wells of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., won in spot news photography for her photo of a firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters.
Alexander Zemlianichenko of The Associated Press was cited in feature photography for his photo of Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin dancing at a rock concert during his re-election campaign last year.
Each Pulitzer except the public service prize carries a $5,000 award and a certificate. The public service award, which goes to a paper, not an individual, is a gold medal.
Graphic: Pulitzer Prizes