Saturday, April 25, 2009

Find 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners' Work at the Library

Attention, news junkies! The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced on Monday, April 20th.

The Pulitzer, widely considered to be the highest honor bestowed upon American journalists (and other types of artists, too), is awarded annually by Columbia University. Out of almost 2,500 nominations (that number includes other, non-journalism categories) each year, judges choose only 21 winners.

The Pulitzer is of great value to the reading public because it highlights work done not only by major newspapers but also that of smaller, regional papers. With rumors of impending doom haunting the newspaper industry this year, it is worth stepping back to celebrate the important work of the Fourth Estate.

The San Francisco Public Library has recently increased online access to regional newspapers from around the world with the addition of PressDisplay, a new database that adds dozens of papers to our already large online collection. It's worth taking a look at some of the regional papers from around the country; you never know, you may be looking at next year's Pulitzer winner!

Below, we've reproduced the list of winners with links to the library catalog record showing our electronic holdings for each title. The descriptions of the winners' work are adapted from the Pulitzer announcement.

To view the papers:

  1. Follow the link to the catalog record.
  2. Click "Click here for full text." (See example below.)
  3. Click on the link to the database containing the paper.
  4. Enter your library card number (if you are accessing the database from outside of the library).

Once you're inside the database, you have full access to the papers and can browse to or search for the winning work.

Public Service - Las Vegas Sun for coverage of high death rates among construction workers on the Las Vegas Strip.

Breaking News Reporting - The New York Times staff for coverage of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal.

Investigative Reporting - David Barstow of The New York Times for revealing that the Pentagon had influenced retired generals to drum up support for the war in Iraq during media appearances.

Explanatory Reporting - Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times for their close look at the costs and benefits of fighting wildfires.

Local Reporting - Detroit Free Press staff for breaking the Kwame Kilpatrick sex scandal (anyone else notice a trend?) and Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune, Mesa, AZ (This is the only one that we don't have, so the link goes to their Web site) for revealing how the local sheriff's focus on enforcing immigration laws and neglect of violent crime investigations endangered the public.

National Reporting - St. Petersburg Times staff for their fact-checking initiative during the 2008 Presidential campaign.

International Reporting - The New York Times staff for risky reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Feature Writing - Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times for the story of a neglected child moving from a filthy motel room to the home of her newly adoptive family.

Commentary - Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post for writing about the historic election of the first African American President of the United States.

Criticism - Holland Cotter of The New York Times for art reviews.

Editorial Writing - Mark Mahoney of The Post-Star, Glens Falls, NY, for covering local government and encouraging citizens to exercise their rights.

Editorial Cartooning - Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune for clear and funny political cartoons.

Breaking News Photography - Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for photos of hurricane devastation in Haiti.

Feature Photography - Damon Winter of The New York Times for photos of Barack Obama's campaign.

In addition to electronic access to hundreds of papers from all over the world, the Magazines and Newspapers Center has a pretty large collection of print newspapers (imagine that!) from around the country. Whether you're a true connoisseur of regional news coverage, or you just want to check out the paper from your hometown, we may very well have you covered. Drop us a line for more information.

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