Florida's Sun Sentinel wins Pulitzer for Public Service

Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:52am EDT
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By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on Monday for its investigation of off-duty police officers who were endangering the lives of citizens, the Pulitzer board said.

The newspaper's investigation of off-duty police officers "who recklessly speed and endanger the lives of citizens" led to disciplinary action "to curtail a deadly hazard," the board said.

The 97th annual Pulitzer Prizes were awarded by Columbia University. The most prestigious prizes in U.S. journalism, the awards can bring badly needed attention to newspapers and websites competing for readers in a fragmented media industry, where many are suffering from budget constraints.

Reporters at InsideClimate News, an online site in Brooklyn, New York, won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their "rigorous" reports on the flawed regulation of the nation's oil pipelines, the Pulitzer board said.

The site's reporting by Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemyer focused on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen, a controversial form of oil, the board said.

"It's great to be recognized for the great work that our reporters did," said David Sassoon, publisher and founder of InsideClimate News, after the prize was announced.

"As much as it's a vote for us, it's also a bigger statement. Environmental journalism has been shrinking in newsrooms across the country and we've been filling the gap as best we could."

The Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting went to David Barboza of The New York Times for his exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, it said, noting his reporting was accomplished "in the face of heavy pressure" from Chinese officials.   Continued...

Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. holds up four fingers to indicate the four Pulitzer Prizes won by the New York Times, as winners for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize are announced at The New York Times newsroom in New York April 15, 2013. Also pictured are (from L-R): CEO Mark Thompson, Sulzberger, Assistant Managing Editor Susan Chira, Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal (obscured by Chira) and Executive Editor Jill Abramson. REUTERS/Ruth Fremson/Pool