Anchorage Paper Wins Top Pulitzer

Times Staff Writer

The 1989 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished public service in journalism was awarded today to the Anchorage Daily News for its coverage of the high incidence of alcoholism and suicide among native Alaskans.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune each won two Pulitzers. The Tribune won for commentary and editorial writing while the Inquirer was honored for national reporting and feature writing.

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele of the Inquirer received the national reporting award for their 15-month investigation of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

David Zucchino of the Inquirer won the feature writing prize for “his richly compelling series” about being a black in South Africa.


Clarence Page of the Tribune won for his columns on local and national affairs, while Jack Higgins of the same newspaper was given the prize for editorial cartooning.

The prize for specialized reporting was given to Edward Humes of the Orange County (Calif.) Register for his in-depth coverage of the military Establishment in Southern California.

In the non-journalism categories, the judges gave the Pulitzer Prize for drama to Wendy Wasserstein for her play, “The Heidi Chronicles.” The prize for fiction was given to Anne Tyler for her book, “Breathing Lessons.”

The nonfiction award went to Neil Sheehan for his probing biography, “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam.”


The 73rd annual Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, letters, drama and music were announced by Columbia University.

In other journalism categories, the Louisville Courier-Journal won the general news reporting prize for its coverage of a bus crash that claimed 27 lives and its subsequent thorough examination of the causes and implications of the tragedy.

Bill Dedman of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution won the investigative reporting prize for his scrutiny of racial discrimination practices by lending institutions in Atlanta. David Hanners, William Snyder and Karen Blessen of the Dallas Morning News won the explanatory journalism prize for their special report on a 1985 plane crash.

The Washington Post and the New York Times shared the prize for international reporting. Glenn Frankel of the Post was cited for his “sensitive and balanced reports” from Israel and the Middle East. Bill Keller of the New York Times was honored for what the judges labeled “resourceful and detailed coverage of events in the U.S.S.R.”

The criticism prize was given to Michael Skube of the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer for his articles about books and other literary topics.

In the photography categories, Ron Olshwanger, a freelance photographer whose work appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, won the spot news prize. His picture showed a firefighter giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a child pulled from a burning building.

Manny Crisostomo of the Detroit Free Press won the feature photography prize for his series of photographs depicting student life at a Detroit high school.

The prize for music went to Roger Reynolds for “Whispers Out of Time.”