The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., received a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service last week. The newspaper highlighted the plight of women in a series called, “Till Death Do Us Part.” South Carolina is among the deadliest places for a woman to live in these United States and the newspaper’s work put that fact front and center.
The Wall Street Journal won a Pulitzer for its investigative series that pulled back the curtains on Medicare. For the first time ever, readers were able to judge for themselves the motivations and practices of their healthcare providers.
Three reporters at the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif., took the top prize for Local Reporting after they wrote about the widespread corruption in a small local school district. From the Daily Breeze story announcing the award:
“It’s about having an institution, no matter how small it is, that will support you,” said Rob Kuznia, now a former Daily Breeze reporter and one of three singled out for the Local Reporting prize. He said the award represents what encouragement and support can do, even in the smallest of newsrooms. …
“It is a testament to the importance of good old-fashioned beat reporting,” he said. “I couldn’t have done that story without everyone here. We have a tiny staff on the one hand, but everybody had the presence of mind to know we had a really good story.”
In all, Pulitzer judges gave out 14 awards for truly exemplary journalism over the last year. You can see all the winning entries here. I recommend you do so. There are those who question the value of what we do, who say citizen journalists will replace us with their periodic coverage of local affairs or that big data will simply be gathered by some benevolent start-up and displayed in helpful charts and graphs for all to see.
Then there are the Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious awards in journalism. They stand as a tribute to the work we all do and an example to follow.