In handing out its Public Service award, the Pulitzer Board praised the Globe for “its courageous, comprehensive coverage of sexual abuse by priests, an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church.”
“We’re thrilled to be given this recognition, which is the highest distinction a newspaper can receive,” the Globe’s publisher, Richard Gilman, said yesterday. “The award validates our belief that the Globe’s work on this story, and stories like it, is the ultimate public service that we can provide to the community.”
Globe editor Martin Baron directed his comments to the staff he said was responsible for the paper’s coverage.
“You made history this past year. And you made the world a better and safer, and more humane place.
“I’m really proud of what the paper has been able to accomplish… There was just a real determination to tell the whole truth, not just a piece of it, not just a slice,” Baron said.
Beginning in January 2002, the Boston Globe, which is owned by the New York Times Company, ran a special Spotlight series in which it exposed a pattern of sexual abuse by priests which was covered up by the Archdiocese of Boston.
The ensuing scandal culminated with the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law in December and a sweeping set of changes to the Catholic Church in the U.S.
The Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism yesterday also honored the following newspapers:
The Washington Post received awards for its international reporting by Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, a husband-and-wife team, on the “horrific” conditions in Mexico’s criminal justice system, for commentary by Colbert King for his columns about “people in power,” and for criticism by film critic Stephen Hunter.
The Los Angeles Times was recognized for its national reporting by Alan Miller and Kevin Sack on a military aircraft linked to the death of 45 pilots, for feature writing by Sonia Nazario about a Honduran boy’s search for his mother who had migrated to the United States, and for Don Bartletti’s feature photography of undocumented Central American youths traveling to the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal won the Pulitzer Prize forexplanatory reporting for its stories on the significance and impact of corporate scandals.
The New York Times won a prize for investigative reportingby Clifford Levy for his series on the abuse of mentally ill adultsin state-regulated homes.
The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Massachusetts received the award for breaking news for its stories on the accidental drowning of four boys in the Merrimack River.
The award for beat reporting went to Diana K. Sugg of TheBaltimore Sun for her series “that illuminated complex medicalissues through the lives of people.”
The Pulitzer prize for breaking news photography went tothe Rocky Mountain News photojournalists for pictures of Colorado’s forest fires.
Cornelia Grumman of the Chicago Tribune won the prize foreditorial writing for her pieces against the death penalty, andDavid Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer won the prizefor editorial cartooning.