Despite an ever-changing climate for the news business, an old mainstay – print journalism – was in the spotlight Sunday, when four Washington Post writers received Pulitzer Prizes, the most awards of any American newspaper.
Gene Weingarten won his second Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. He writes a humor column for the Post, but he won the Pulitzer for a feature about parents forgetting their children in cars, thereby causing premature death.
“You feel very lucky, because the process is a complicated committee process and sometimes you feel as though winning is a crapshoot,” Weingarten said of winning twice.
He last won in 2008 for “Pearls Before Breakfast,” a feature story in the Post that reported on a famous classical violinist who played at L’Enfant Plaza as an experiment to see if people would stop and recognize beautiful music in their busy morning commute.
“I write a lot of different things. There could be nothing more different between a humor column and the one [that] won this year,” he said. “They are [different], but they address [a] fundamental part of the human condition.”
Three other Washington Post writers earned recognition in a variety of categories. Anthony Shadid won for international reporting for a series about U.S. troops leaving Iraq, his second award in the category. He also garnered a Pulitzer in 2004 for coverage of the U.S. invasion into and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Kathleen Parker was awarded a Pulitzer in the commentary category for her long-running conservative-leaning column. Sarah Kaufman received recognition in the criticism category for her dance column, which she has written for the Post since 1996.
Other prizes in journalism were given to The Seattle Times staff for breaking news reporting, Michael Moss and members of The New York Times staff for explanatory reporting, and Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times staff for national reporting, among others.
The Pulitzer Prize is awarded nationally each year for excellence in journalism, letters, drama and music at the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board.