The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post each won three Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, and the Boston Globe won the prestigious Public Service gold medal for its coverage of sex abuse scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic Church.
The Globe's tenacious reporting "stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church," including the resignation last year of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, according to Pulitzer judges.
Times reporters Kevin Sack and Alan Miller won the national reporting award for their investigation of a military aircraft, the Harrier, that is linked to the deaths of 45 Marines. In response to the stories -- which judges called "revelatory and moving" -- the chairmen of two key panels in the House of Representatives have pledged to hold hearings on the safety of military aviation, focusing on the Harrier.
Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario won the feature writing award for "Enrique's Journey," a series of stories about a Honduran boy's search for his mother, who had migrated to the United States. Judges called the work "touching" and "exhaustively reported."
Don Bartletti, the photographer for "Enrique's Journey," won the Pulitzer for feature photography. Jurors praised his work as a memorable portrayal of how undocumented Central American youths travel north to the United States, despite tremendous dangers.
The Times' three Pulitzers are the most it has won in a single year. It brings to 30 the number of wins for the paper in the 86-year history of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
In nonjournalism categories, winners of the prize this year include Lyndon B. Johnson biographer Robert A. Caro and Cuban American playwright Nilo Cruz.
At the Washington Post, reporters Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, a married couple, won the international reporting award for stories about Mexico's criminal justice system, a series that judges praised for their "exposure of horrific conditions ... and how they affect the daily lives of people."
The Post's film critic, Stephen Hunter, won the award for criticism that judges called "authoritative ... both intellectually rewarding and a pleasure to read."
And Post columnist Colbert I. King won the prize for commentary that jurors said "speaks to people in power with ferocity and wisdom." The Post has now won 40 Pulitzer Prizes.
Newspapers typically salute their winners of the coveted awards with champagne celebrations, and Monday's announcements were no exception. As he spoke to a packed newsroom, Boston Globe Editor Martin Baron told his staff: "You made history this past year. And you made the world a better and safer and more humane place."
Baron noted in a telephone interview that "we certainly didn't know when this story began how big it would be."
"We didn't know the depth of the scandal," he added. "But we now have written more than 900 stories and we've done what we set out to do, which was to get the truth. Not just a slice, but the whole truth about what the church knew about abuse by priests, how it protected them and coddled them, and ignored victims."
In Los Angeles, Times reporters and editors gathered in the newsroom as the prizes were announced, cheering as each winner was named. In addition to the three winning entries, the newspaper had three others that were finalists.
Times Editor John Carroll, a longtime Pulitzer Board member, said he has watched the prize process for years and has seen firsthand how they are awarded.
"Sometimes they are won with a large element of luck, and sometimes they are won with years of diligence to the craft, of care, of hard work. I can tell you all four of these individual winners fall into the latter category," Carroll said.
The story of Enrique's journey began, Nazario recalled, with tearful conversations seven years ago with her housekeeper, a Guatemalan woman who shared the heartache of being separated from her family. From the very beginning, Nazario said that she recognized the poignancy and importance of the story, but that it was one that required extensive work by a large number of people at the paper to eventually reach publication.
Photographer Bartletti has spent much of his 31-year career covering immigration to the United States, but he said the Enrique story represented something unique. The children from Mexico and Central America who venture north by themselves every year "are taking the most perilous migratory route I have ever seen," he added.
Bartletti heard he had been awarded the Pulitzer in Iraq, where he is covering the war for The Times. He spoke with editors and gathered staff from a satellite telephone. "When I am in Iraq with one ear full of sand and black under my eyes from the oil fires, I ask myself, 'Why the hell I do this?' " he said. "It is an adventure, and it is important." And, he added: "After a day in the apocalypse, hearing your applause from back home warms my heart in my little sleeping bag."
In The Times' Washington bureau, Miller and Sack heard the official news of their prize as they were surrounded by colleagues and family members.
Miller, describing the prize as a truly extraordinary honor, said it is a "tribute to the courage and dedication of the Marine pilots who lost their lives in the Harrier, as well as all of those who are flying it today in Iraq and elsewhere ....I feel we share this award with the relatives of those pilots who were lost ... and many sources who gave so much, sometimes with considerable anguish, to help us tell this story."
Added Sack: "We all know that the military is a risky endeavor, as is being seen now. We came away thinking there should be an obligation on the part of military leadership to minimize the risk. Some pilots died unnecessarily."
Other winners included the New York Times' Clifford J. Levy, for investigative reporting about the abuse of mentally ill people in New York state-regulated homes. The New York Times has now won 89 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper -- including a record seven prizes last year, most related to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The staff of the Wall Street Journal won the explanatory reporting award for stories about corporate corruption; the (Baltimore) Sun's Diana K. Sugg won for beat reporting about stories that judges said "illuminated complex medical issues through the lives of people"; the staff of the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., won for breaking-news coverage of the accidental drownings of four boys in the Merrimack River.
The photography staff of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news photography, for images of Colorado's forest fires. David Horsey of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer was honored for editorial cartoons that judges said showed "a distinctive style and sense of humor." Cornelia Grumman of the Chicago Tribune won the editorial prize for "powerful, freshly challenging" editorials against the death penalty.
Each Pulitzer Prize carries a $7,500 award for winners, except for the Public Service Award, which bestows a gold medal on winners. The awards are determined by a two-part process in which three finalists in each category are initially chosen by individual juries of five to seven journalists. Final awards are made by the 18-person board that oversees the competition and has the power to overrule the juries, sometimes passing over finalists in favor of other stories or shifting entries from one category to another.
Finalists for the 2003 Pulitzer Prizes. Pulitzer juries make up to three recommendations in each category without listing them in order of preference. The Pulitzer Board, which awards the prizes, is not limited to those recommendations in choosing a winner.
The Boston Globe for its coverage of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
Also nominated: the Detroit News on defects in the criminal justice system; and the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal on corruption in Florida's Escambia County.
The Eagle-Tribune staff of Lawrence, Mass., for stories on the accidental drowning of four boys in the Merrimack River.
Also nominated: the (Baltimore) Sun staff for coverage of the sniper killings; and the Seattle Times staff for local connections to the sniper attacks.
Clifford J. Levy of the New York Times for series exposing abuse of mentally ill adults.
Also nominated: Alan Miller and Kevin Sack of the Los Angeles Times for Harrier aircraft, (moved to national reporting category, where it won); the Seattle Times staff on an Algerian boy's evolution into a terrorist.
The Wall Street Journal staff on the effect of corporate scandals in America.
Also nominated: Jim Haner, John B. O'Donnell and Kimberly A.C. Wilson of the (Baltimore) Sun on the city's low conviction rate in murder cases; the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff on chronic-wasting disease among deer in Wisconsin.
Diana K. Sugg of the (Baltimore) Sun on complex medical issues.
Also nominated: Cameron W. Barr of the Christian Science Monitor for coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and David Cay Johnston of the New York Times on complicated U.S. tax laws.
Alan Miller and Kevin Sack of the Los Angeles Times for their examination of a military aircraft, the Harrier, that was linked to the deaths of 45 pilots.
Also nominated: Chicago Tribune staff on the fall of accounting firm Arthur Andersen; Anne Hull of the Washington Post on young immigrants coming of age in the American South; and the New York Times staff on corruption in corporate America.
Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan of the Washington Post on conditions in Mexico's criminal justice system.
Also nominated: Alix M. Freedman and Steve Stecklow of the Wall Street Journal on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein profiting from U.N. sanctions; and R.C. Longworth of the Chicago Tribune on tensions between the United States and Europe.
Sonia Nazario of the Los Angeles Times for "Enrique's Journey," the story of a Honduran boy's search for his mother, who had migrated to the United States.
Also nominated: Connie Schultz of the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer on a wrongfully convicted man; and David Stabler of the Oregonian in Portland on teenage prodigy's struggle with musical talent.
Colbert I. King of the Washington Post for his against-the-grain columns.
Also nominated: Edward Achorn of the Providence (R.I.) Journal on government corruption in Rhode Island; and Mark Holmberg of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch on a broad range of topics.
Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post for film criticism.
Also nominated: John King of the San Francisco Chronicle on architecture and urban design; and Nicolai Ouroussoff of the Los Angeles Times for reviews and essays on architectural development and preservation.
Cornelia Grumman of the Chicago Tribune for her editorials against the death penalty.
Also nominated: Robert L. Pollock of the Wall Street Journal on the Food and Drug Administration's delay in approval of new cancer drugs; and Linda Valdez of the Arizona Republic in Phoenix on illegal immigrants and flawed justice of the peace courts.
David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Also nominated: Rex Babin of the Sacramento Bee; and Clay Bennett of the Christian Science Monitor.
The Rocky Mountain News staff for Colorado's raging forest fires.
Also nominated: Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times on the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem; and the Washington Times staff on sniper killings in the Washington region.
Don Bartletti of the Los Angeles Times on undocumented Central American youths traveling to the United States.
Also nominated: Matt Black, freelance photographer for the Los Angeles Times on black sharecroppers who migrated to California's San Joaquin Valley during the Depression; and Brad Clift of the Hartford (Conn.) Courant on heroin addiction in a Connecticut city.
"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Also nominated: "Servants of the Map: Stories" by Andrea Barrett (W.W. Norton); and "You Are Not a Stranger Here" by Adam Haslett (Nan A. Talese-Doubleday).
"Anna in the Tropics" by Nilo Cruz.
Also nominated: "The Goat or Who is Sylvia?" by Edward Albee; and "Take Me Out" by Richard Greenberg.
"An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943" by Rick Atkinson (Henry Holt and Co.).
Also nominated: "At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America" by Philip Dray (Random House); and "Rereading Sex: Battles Over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America" by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (Alfred A. Knopf).
"Master of the Senate" by Robert A. Caro (Alfred A. Knopf).
Also nominated: "The Fly Swatter" by Nicholas Dawidoff (Pantheon Books); and "Beethoven: The Music and the Life" by Lewis Lockwood (W.W. Norton).
"Moy Sand and Gravel" by Paul Muldoon (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Also nominated: "Music Like Dirt" by Frank Bidart (Sarabande Books); and "Hazmat" by J.D. McClatchy (Alfred A. Knopf).
"A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Power (Basic Books).
Also nominated: "The Anthropology of Turquoise: Meditations on Landscape, Art, and Spirit" by Ellen Meloy (Pantheon Books); and "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" by Steven Pinker (Viking).
"On the Transmigration of Souls" by John Adams, premiered by the New York Philharmonic on Sept. 19 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City (Boosey & Hawkes).
Also nominated: "Three Tales" by Steve Reich, premiered on May 31 at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C. (Boosey & Hawkes); "Camp Songs" by Paul Schoenfield, commissioned by Music of Remembrance and premiered on April 7, 2002, at Music of Remembrance's Holocaust Remembrance concert at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times