Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PRIZED above All Else

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PRIZED above All Else

Article excerpt

Coverage of the world left in the wake of Sept. 11's events dominates the 86th annual competition

As The New York Times won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes, Thomas E. Franklin of The Record in Hackensack, N.J., had to settle for being a mere finalist -- despite shooting the most memorable photo of Sept. 11. Meanwhile, The Seattle Times lost any chance for a prize when another entry was switched into its category.

These unexpected decisions typified the 2002 Pulitzer results, which saw huge metropolitan dailies sweep almost all 14 journalism awards for their coverage of Sept. 11, the war in Afghanistan, and other topics.

Seymour Topping, administrator of the Pulitzers, says The New York Times won the prize for breaking-news photography for a "portfolio of pictures -- not a single photo." Yet Record Editor Frank J. Scandale, while expressing admiration for the winning work in the much bigger paper, admits, "We were disappointed. Tom's photo will still be talked about in 50 years. It moved millions of people." Scandale says Franklin's single Iwo Jima-like picture "told the whole story" of Sept. 11 as well as any body of photographic work did.

The Washington Post was a finalist in the public-service category for a series about the District of Columbia's role in the deaths of 229 children placed in protective care between 1993 and 2000. But after the board gave The New York Times a win in that category for its post-Sept. 11 daily section, "A Nation Challenged," 75% of the panel voted to switch the Post series into the investigative-reporting category, which it then won. …

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