The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in journalism celebrates “a distinguished example of local reporting...with special emphasis on the speed and accuracy of the initial coverage, presented in print or online or both.”
Last year, when The Seattle Times learned that four Lakewood police officers had been slain in a Pierce County coffee shop, Times staffers distinguished themselves by doing what good journalists do: telling a story, advancing the story and making themselves indispensable to interested citizens. Since the shootings occurred at 8:15 on the morning of Nov. 29, the Times wouldn’t have an actual newspaper account of the shootings and the subsequent manhunt for nearly 24 hours. But before that first “hard copy” edition rolled, the Times had posted or updated more than three-dozen staff-generated stories on its website. Many staffers—reporters, photographers and editors—also tweeted updates, and the newspaper created a Google Wave platform that communicated in real time with hundreds of interested readers.
Times executive editor and senior vice president David Boardman describes it—and the Pulitzer Prize—as “the culmination of efforts we have made here to fully integrate print and digital journalism. This story reflected the best of journalism new and old–the speed, engagement and tools of the digital world, tempered by the thoughtful, ethical deliberation for which quality newspapers are known.”
Published November 2010
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