W. Seneca Native at Times Gets Pulitzer

Article excerpt

West Seneca native David Kocieniewski of the New York Times was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday in the explanatory reporting category for a series on how wealthy people and corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes.

Kocieniewski, a Canisius High School graduate and former Buffalo News intern, is a Times business reporter who devoted a year to examining and exposing the obscure provisions that businesses and the wealthiest Americans use to drive down their tax bills.

His work drew accolades from conservative groups such as the tea party and the Tax Foundation, as well as more liberal groups such as Wealth for the Common Good, the Sunlight Foundation and Public Citizen.

Kocieniewski is a 1985 graduate of Binghamton University and a 1986 graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

He shared the spotlight at the Times with colleague Jeffrey Gettleman, who received the Pulitzer for international reporting for his coverage of famine and conflict in East Africa.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press won the prize for investigative journalism for revealing the New York Police Department's widespread spying on Muslims, which stretched all the way upstate to the University at Buffalo.

Sara Ganim, 24, a reporter at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., captured the award for local reporting for breaking the Penn State scandal that brought down Joe Paterno.

The turmoil-ridden Philadelphia Inquirer won in the public service category for exposing pervasive violence in the city's schools.

David Wood earned a Pulitzer in national reporting for a relative newcomer, the Huffington Post, for stories about the suffering endured by American troops severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was only the second Pulitzer ever awarded for reporting that appeared online only.

Another Pulitzer for investigative reporting was awarded to the Seattle Times for a series about accidental methadone overdoses among patients with chronic pain.

A year after the Pulitzer judges found no entry worthy of the prize for breaking news, the Tuscaloosa News of Alabama won the award for coverage of a deadly tornado.

At the Patriot-News, Ganim, a police and courts reporter, won for "courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal," the Pulitzer judges wrote. At 24, she is one of the youngest journalists ever to win a Pulitzer.

The Stranger, a Seattle alternative weekly, won the feature writing award for a story about a woman who survived an attack that killed her partner. …