2008 Pulitzer Prizes
April 18, 2008 6:19 PM   Subscribe

The 2008 Pulitzer Prize winners were recently announced. Some winners worth noting include the article in the Washington Post about violin virtuoso Joshua Bell busking in the Washington D.C. Metro station, which won the award for Feature Writing. The Washington Post also won the International Reporting award for a disturbing series about modern day mercenaries. This article about Blackwater operating beyond the reach of any law was part of the series. The Washington Post Pulitzer page has more information on their winners and finalists.

Adrees Latif posted on Reuters Photograhpers Blog about taking the winning 2008 Pulitizer Prize Breaking News photo of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai being shot and killed by government troops in Burma. There is also a video of Latif reading the statement from the blog post along with more photos from the prize winning collection.

The winning Editorial Cartoons included this gem.
posted by McGuillicuddy (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just bought the winner for history and I'm looking forward to reading it.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:30 PM on April 18, 2008

posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:36 PM on April 18, 2008

That Joshua Bell piece is a *very* spiffy bit of writing.
posted by deCadmus at 6:49 PM on April 18, 2008

The Road and now The Brief Wondrous Life? I think the Pulitzer committee is trying to redeem its reputation in the fiction category.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:39 PM on April 18, 2008

I'm not familiar with most of the winners, but god I hated that Joshua Bell piece. It's not that I didn't think the concept was amusing, but the article is a huge pile of indulgent, bourgeois, pretentious twaddle.
posted by Alex404 at 12:08 AM on April 19, 2008

It is a great sign of the times that a pulitzer goes to someone who made fake news.
posted by srboisvert at 12:57 AM on April 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

Not to take anything away from The Post, but I think it's stunning that only one of the Pulitzer winners was from a smaller market daily (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). If you go back through history you see more winners from varied sources.

So it makes me wonder: Is this the result of budget cuts, consolidation, the popularity of the web, or all of the above?
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:36 AM on April 19, 2008

So who's gonna do stuff like the Blackwater article when newspapers disappear for ever (sometime next year)? What blog has the resources or credibility to report, check and follow up on this sort of thing? When it comes to digging into a really important story that require tedious investigation and verification, newspapers are currently irreplaceable. If you think the scaliwags are running wild now, wait until the newsrooms shut down...
posted by Faze at 4:44 AM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Last night I got to go see August: Osage County, the winning play by Tracy Letts, on Broadway. I knew literally nothing about it, so during the second intermission when someone told me it had just won the Pulitzer I was like "AHHHHHHHH, now I see." Because really the whole thing was all kinds of amazing, probably the best theatre I've seen since Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. If you can write a family drama with over a dozen characters that takes place all in one location and still somehow make every person and every word stand out as original (brutally so) then you probably deserve a prize. It was over three hours long, but I left feeling energized and amazed.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 6:57 AM on April 19, 2008

Sorry to hear that, Alex404. I found that article one of the finest pieces of writing I have read in some time - indulgent, maybe; pretentious, definitely - but nevertheless fascinating and wonderfully well written. Ok, it was a set up, but so what? It's feature writing: it's always going to be a set up, in whole or in part, or it would be ordinary reporting. The point is, this was out-of-the-ordinary - unique, insightful, and engaging - whilst at the same time not boring, not stretched, well planned and carried out. Criticise if you must, but feature writing isn't about 'news', and it is always, to some extent, fake. What this article does well, in my opinion, is accept that it is a stunt and that it tells us precisely nothing, but at the same time tells us so much. And, to me, says a lot about the way - in a world of shit - that beauty increasingly passes us by.
posted by Acey at 7:04 AM on April 19, 2008

As one of the hundreds who were passed over this year for the simple fact of not having produced anything of note or value, I say "boooooooooooooo-urns".
posted by blue_beetle at 8:24 AM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Faze: Blogs like Talking Points Memo.
posted by empath at 9:24 AM on April 19, 2008

I also hated the Joshua Bell piece with the fire of a thousand suns.
posted by kyrademon at 3:04 PM on April 19, 2008

Just saw this on the Simpsons tonight:
Homer: Oh, nobody's visiting my web page anymore. My counter is
actually going down.
[we see a tumbleweed bounce across his web site, as his
counter rapidly decreases]
Lisa: Well, you can't post news if you don't have any.
Homer: That's a great idea! I'll make up some news!
Lisa: At least take off your Pulitzer prize when you say that.
-- "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes"
posted by Eideteker at 5:41 PM on April 21, 2008

96% of passers-by ignore famous artist's street painting

Conclussion: The street is a shit place to put things.
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2008

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