Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Pulitzer Winners to Be Announced This Afternoon

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Pulitzer Winners to Be Announced This Afternoon

Article excerpt

The names of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize will be announced this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET at Columbia University. As usual, E&P will be there and will post the results almost immediately.

Some of the winners probably know already, although this is supposed to be a tightly held secret. Last year an E&P probe discovered that some of the anointed in the journalism field -- somehow -- found out about it over the weekend or Monday mornings and got that champagne on ice.

E&P has been compiling a list of finalists the past few years, which also leak out, but until last year many assumed that the same thing did not often happen with the winners.

Here is what E&P's Joe Strupp reported last year a few days after the 2006 announcement.

*Was it just a coincidence that five of The Washington Post's six Pulitzer Prize winners for 2006 had lunch together Monday, hours before official word of their victory was released?

"I'm not saying why," reporter James Grimaldi said with a laugh hours later, after official word came out that he and colleagues Susan Schmidt and R. Jeffrey Smith took the prize for investigative reporting. "It was pure happenstance."

Along with those three, staffer Dana Priest, who later won for beat reporting, and reporter David Finkel, who took the explanatory reporting prize, held their own Pulitzer luncheon at Tony and Joe's, a waterfront seafood eatery in D.C.

"It was a nice, calm lunch," is all Schmidt would say later, declining much comment on what advance word the reporters had gotten about their pending victories. "I can't get into that, we had some inklings." Added Finkel, "I got early word from a couple of different sources, but they asked me to keep it quiet."

Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post and the paper's only representative on the Pulitzer board, did not return calls seeking comment.

While leaks about the Pulitzer winners have not reached the level of the finalists revelations, which have become a regular occurrence and sparked an underground network of information, they appear to be more common than in the past. Although only the winners themselves usually receive the early word, the leaks still represented a breach of the Pulitzer secrecy rules. …

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