NEW YORK: The New York Times received five Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, including one for breaking the call-girl scandal that destroyed Gov Eliot Spitzer’s career.
The Las Vegas Sun won the Pulitzer for public service for exposing a high death rate among construction workers on the Las Vegas Strip. America’s top journalism awards were announced after one of the most depressing years the newspaper industry has ever seen, with layoffs, bankruptcies and closings.
The Detroit Free Press won in the local reporting category for obtaining a trove of sexually explicit text messages that brought down the city’s mayor. The judges also awarded a Pulitzer in local reporting to the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Arizona, for revealing how a sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigations of other crimes.
The St Petersburg Times was honoured for national reporting for fact-checking the candidates during the 2008 White House campaign, and for feature writing for Lane DeGregory’s story on a neglected girl who was unable to talk or feed herself.
The Times was first to report that Spitzer was a client of a high-end prostitution ring, leading to his shocking resignation. The paper also won for international coverage of deepening US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan; for criticism, for Holland Cotter’s art reviews; for feature photography,
for Damon Winter’s coverage of Barack Obama’s campaign; and for investigative reporting to David Barstow, for revealing how the networks used military commentators who had ties to the Pentagon or defence contractors.