Monday, April 20, 2009

NY Times awarded five Pulitzers

The New York Times newspaper has won five of this year's sought-after Pulitzer journalism awards.

The paper won prizes for investigative, breaking news and international reporting, as well as for feature photography and criticism.

The Las Vegas Sun won the prestigious public service award for reporting on the high death rate among construction workers on the Las Vegas strip.

No prizes were awarded for reporting on the global economic crisis.

US newspapers have been suffering from severe financial problems, with many publications closing, going bankrupt or making cuts.

They have also been struggling to compete with online publications.

Although these were allowed to compete for the first time this year, none of their 65 entries won prizes.

However, online content did play a role in a number of winning entries, the Pulitzer board said.

'Watchdog still bites'

The New York Times, which itself is burdened by heavy debt, won the international reporting prize for its coverage of US involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Times journalist David Barstow was awarded the prize for investigative journalism for revealing how US networks used military commentators who had ties to the Pentagon or defence contractors and defended their policies.

The paper won the breaking news category for its work on a sex scandal that led to the resignation of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

The New York Times' other prizes went to Holland Cotter, who won the criticism award for his art reviews, and Damon Winter, who won the feature photography award for his coverage of Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

The breaking news photography prize was won by Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for his pictures of the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike in Haiti.

Pulitzer Prize administrator Sig Gissler said that amid a gloomy outlook for the US newspaper industry, the winning entries were "heartening examples of the high-quality journalism".

"It's quite notable that the watchdog function of journalism is underscored in this year's awards," he said.

"The watchdog still barks, and the watchdog still bites."

Each Pulitzer carries a $10,000 cash prize - except for the public service award, which wins the recipient a gold medal.

Named after newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who died in 1911, the accolades were first awarded in 1917.