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COUNTING THE PULITZERS: The balance of power was spread evenly among the major papers on Pulitzer Prize day this year: The New York Times received two; the Los Angeles Times won two; the Washington Post and Boston Globe each won one, and The Wall Street Journal won its first Pulitzer in four years, and the first since Rupert Murdoch bought the paper.
This was the lowest intake on Pulitzer day for The New York Times in three years. David Leonhardt won the commentary Pulitzer for his business columns and Clifford J. Levy won his second Pulitzer with reporting on the justice system in Russia (he previously won for investigative reporting in 2003, and is sharing this Pulitzer with Ellen Barry).
ProPublica, led by former Journal editor Paul Steiger, won for a second-straight year and brought home the first-ever Pulitzer awarded to a story that wasn’t published in print (it won the national reporting award for a multipart series written by Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisinger on how hedge funds and banks contributed to the economic collapse). ProPublica published the series on its Web site and collaborated with NPR and “This American Life.”
The Journal finally got the Pulitzer scoreboard with a win in the editorial writing category. Murdoch and Journal editor Robert Thomson have been dismissive of the American awards process, but it looks like this was the year the Pulitzer committee finally warmed up to them — the Journal was a finalist in three other categories.
The Los Angeles Times, a paper that has been ravaged by job and budget cuts over the last decade, won multiple awards for the first time in six years, with wins for public service and photography. The Washington Post, which led all newspapers in total Pulitzers two out of the last four years, only walked away with the breaking news photography award this year.
For the first time ever, the Pulitzer committee did not give out a breaking news award.
Jennifer Egan’s “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” which already won the National Book Award for fiction, won the Pulitzer for the fiction category. Columbia professor and historian Eric Foner won his first Pulitzer for history for his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”