Conversation-starter: Your Pulitzer Prize favorites?

As many journalists know, the deadline for Pulitzer entries is next Wednesday.

This morning I got in touch with the journalist who reported and wrote one of my favorite 2011 investigations — “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse” — to see if he’d submitted his series yet.

Morning Call's Pulitzer contender

“The Morning Call plans to submit the Amazon investigation for consideration,” Spencer Soper wrote in an email. “We’re proud that we were able to shine a spotlight into Amazon’s warehouse to show how the company keeps costs down and delivers items so quickly, and we’re humbled that so many employees trusted us to represent their accounts fairly and truthfully.”

Spencer Soper

This is the first time my work has been nominated, and it’s a real honor to be considered. I was once nominated for a rather coveted prize within Tribune Co., though, Lee Abrams’ mystical pineapple. Don’t think they give that out anymore.

(I believe that was the Electric Pineapple Award; scroll down for a reference to it.)

He adds:

The attention the story received has been surprising. A story like this about another warehouse likely would not have spread so far and wide. Amazon is transforming how the world shops without much exposure of how it treats its workers, which made people interested. I was surprised to get emails from readers as far away as Asia who had seen the story, including business professors who encouraged their students to read it and had classroom discussions about profits and ethics.

Over the weekend, I asked my Facebook friends and a few other journalists to name their Pulitzer favorites. Their picks:

* “The Patriot-News’ breaking coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal should win hands down, imo.”

* Sarasota Herald Tribune on bad cops.

* “The LAT buy-here-pay-here car sales series. Junk cars sold (and resold) to the poor.”

* “The Watershed Post here in New York did fantastic coverage and offered an amazing liveblog during Hurricane Irene and the flooding in the Catskills.”

* The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s coverage of the Atlanta Public School’s cheating scandal.

* “The Joplin Globe has done an amazing job on coverage of the May 22 tornado and aftermath. What’s not widely known is they did it with one-third of their 27 news staffers’ homes destroyed and a page designer killed. The Globe deserves the recognition.”

* Seattle Times’ series on methadone.

* “Amy Harmon of the New York Times on autism, notably these two pieces:
Austistic and Seeking a Place in the Adult World and Navigating Love and Autism.”

* California Watch’s “On Shaky Ground,” seismic safety in public schools.

* Pro Publica’s Dollars for Doctors.

* New York Times Soft Prosecutions (“Prosecutors are Lenient as Companies Break the Law”).




  1. Ellen Comisar said:

    Lock: Sara Ganim for Penn State / Sandusky coverage;

    NYT for hockey brawler Derek Boogaard

  2. John Bosh said:

    Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice should be a breaking news contender for comprehensive coverage of record, ravaging flooding along the Susquehanna River in Northeastern Pa. both in print, online and real-time on social media and through an instant partnership that had the newspaper’s reporters giving live updates on the local public television station.

    Some samples of coverage:

  3. Bret said:

    St. Pete Times, er, Tampa Bay Times’ coverage of painkiller addiction. Reporters followed one subject for a year and had intimate access to her life as a recovering addict. I believe one of the reporters has won a Pulitzer in the past if I’m not mistaken…

  4. Ben O said:

    You can’t forget the Associated Press’ coverage of the close relationship between the NYPD and the CIA. This is a story that local publications refused to take on fearing blowback from the NYPD and Bloomberg