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News round-up: Pulitzer Edition

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Friday, Apr 11, 2008

Editor and Publisher reports on the timing of the Washington Post‘s Pulitzer sweep:


Is it irony or just today’s newspaper reality that The Washington Post won nearly half of the Pulitzer Prize journalism awards on Monday—its most ever—just a week after launching its second buyout in less than two years?


Post Executive Editor, Leonard Downie Jnr., discusses the win, the paper’s downsizing, and what recognition means in his newsroom. He also puts forth some compelling theories about the awards themselves and how his paper came to take home so many.


Editor and Publisher also has this lighthearted look at Post reporter Gene Weingarten’s win for Feature Writing for his piece on Joshua Bell, the subway violinist. 


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While the Post celebrates, Newsday mourns the loss of one of its most celebrated journalists. Robert W. Greene, who led the paper to two Pulitzers for Public Service, died this week in New York, aged 78.


For much of his career, he could outthink, out-hustle, out-report, outeat, outdrink and outwork any other journalist in the country ... But if his excesses were occasionally unbridled, they were driven by his passion to get a good story and root out the bad guys.


 
Newsday writes in its tribute that Greene was “an inspiring, larger-than-life character who saw journalism as a blunt instrument of the public good”. His style is described as “aggressive”. Former Newsday editor Anthony Marro states that the Investigative Reports and Editors organisaztion Greene formed “remains his most important legacy, because he used it to help develop a culture in which public service journalism and investigative reporting became part of the newspaper’s core mission.”


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Robert Hass, winner of poetry award for his Time and Materials, tells the San Francisco Chronicle of his plans for the prize money: To buy a new stove.


Winning, Hass notes, has “intensified my desire to simplify my life and get on with my work.”


Hass is also discussed at the Gonzaga Bulletin.


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Saul Friedlander

Saul Friedlander


The Jewish Journal has a great piece on Saul Friedlander, winner of the non-fiction prize for his book The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.


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In Dominican slang, a tiguere is a cat from the streets, a homeboy who makes the most out of the situation at hand and is a master at improvisation. Diaz is that. Under the guise of a streetwise tale about a lovelorn “ghetto-nerd” and a cheating would-be hoodlum, he does nothing less than place us at the center of history.


Carolina González at the New American Media takes a detailed look at “why Wao’s Pulitzer matters”. She notes how Diaz’s book opens doors for American writers who wish to free themselves of particular constraints in their storytelling: [Thanks to Diaz] we can give ourselves permission to tell complex stories about ourselves, unapologetic about our cultural touchstones and historical references, in a language appropriate to our realities.”


Diaz features further at the Guardian, in a piece about the “supernatural shadow” over Latin-American literature; the Cornell Daily Sun, and Dominican Today.


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