Reporting that drew back the curtains on subjects ranging from the ordeal of a rape victim to the sad human costs of one of the big Wall Street takeovers of the '80s won Pulitzer
Prizes in journalism.The Des Moines Register on Tuesday was awarded the prize for public service for chronicling the story of rape victim Nancy Ziegenmeyer, who allowed her name to be used in an effort to counter the shame often associated with rape.
The Los Angeles Times, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and Gannett News Service each won for stories that focused on child abuse and neglect.
Winners of Pulitzers in the arts included Neil Simon, who won his first in drama for "Lost in Yonkers" after 30 years of playwriting, and John Updike, who collected his second in fiction for "Rabbit at Rest," the last of his four-novel "Rabbit" series. His first Pulitzer was in 1982 for "Rabbit is Rich."
Wall Street Journal reporter Susan Faludi examined the leveraged buyout in 1986 of Safeway Stores Inc. and won the Pulitzer for explanatory journalism. She detailed the human cost of the supermarket chain takeover in layoffs, suicide and wage cuts. The deal involved $5.7 billion in buyout debt.
"I was really interested in looking at it from the bottom up," Faludi said. "I think any story that sort of forces business executives to look at the moral consequences of their decisions is important."
The prize-winning five-part Des Moines Register series was set in motion when Ziegenmeyer read a Register op-ed piece saying newspapers' policy of not identifying rape victims somehow suggested they were at fault.
The series, reported by Jane Schorer, graphically described the rape and how it devastated Ziegenmeyer. The articles prompted widespread reconsideration of news organizations' practice of concealing the identity of rape victims.
"It's a triumph of openness and it's a triumph of fearless truth-telling," said Register Editor Geneva Overholser.
The Los Angeles Times' David Shaw won the Pulitzer for criticism for his examination of the way the media reported the McMartin Pre-School child molestation case.
Sheryl James of the St. Petersburg Times won for feature writing for her stories about a mother who left her newborn in a box near a trash bin.
The winners of the national reporting award, Marjie Lundstrom and Rochelle Sharpe of Gannett News Service, revealed that hundreds of child abuse-related deaths are undetected each year because of errors by medical examiners.
The feature photography prize went to William Snyder of The Dallas Morning News for his pictures of sick and orphaned children in Romania.
The Associated Press' Greg Marinovich won the Pulitzer for spot news photography for pictures from South Africa showing supporters of the African National Congress killing a man they believed was a Zulu spy.
One attacker told Marinovich to stop taking pictures, the photographer recalled. "I said I'd stop shooting when they stopped killing him," Marinovich said. The gang slowed its attack but ultimately killed the man.
Tuesday's awards marked the 75th year the prizes were given by Columbia University under an endowment by Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the old New York World. The awards carry a prize of $3,000 except in public service; a gold medal is given in that category.
And the winners are...
Public service reporting - Jane Schorer, The Des Moines Register.
Spot news reporting - The Miami Herald staff.
Investigative reporting - Joseph T. Hallinan and Susan M. Headden, the Indianapolis Star.
Explanatory journalism - Susan C. Faludi, the Wall Street Journal.
Beat reporting - Natalie Angier, The New York Times.
National reporting - Marjie Lundstrom and Rochelle Sharpe, Gannett News Service.
International reporting - Caryle Murphy, the Washington Post; and Serge Schmemann, The New York Times.
Feature writing - Sheryl James, the St. Petersburg Times.
Commentary - Jim Hoagland, The Washington Post.
Criticism - David Shaw, the Los Angeles Times.
Editorial writing - Ron Casey, Harold Jackson and Joey Kennedy, The Birmingham (Ala.) News.
Editorial cartooning - Jim Borgman, the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Spot news photography - Greg Marinovich, the Associated Press.
History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich for "A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812."
Biography - Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith for "Jackson Pollock: An American Saga."
Poetry - Mona Van Duyn for "Near Changes."
General non-fiction - Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson for "The Ants."