Online nonprofit wins national reporting Pulitzer

InsideClimate News joins The Wall Street Journal, Denver Post, others in winning top journalism awards

NEW YORK — In a sign of a rapidly changing media world, a relatively unknown New York-based online nonprofit news site joined some of the country's most well-known media outlets in claiming a Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in journalism.

InsideClimate News won the Pulitzer Monday for national reporting for its reports on problems in the regulation of the nation's oil pipelines. Founded five years ago, InsideClimateNews reports on energy and the environment. Writers Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemyer were recognized for a project that began with an investigation into a million-gallon spill of Canadian tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The reporters went on to look more broadly at pipeline safety and the particular hazards of a form of oil called diluted bitumen, or "dilbit."

The Associated Press received the award in breaking news photography for its coverage of the civil war in Syria.

The Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received the public service award for an investigation of off-duty police officers' reckless driving.

The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis captured two awards, for local reporting and editorial cartooning.

Cheers erupted in the Denver Post's newsroom when word came that the newspaper had won the Pulitzer in the breaking news category for its coverage — via text, social media and video — of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 people during a midnight showing of a new Batman movie last summer.

The New York Times' David Barstow and Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab won the investigative reporting award for stories that detailed how Walmart Stores Inc. systematically bribed Mexican officials.

The Times' David Barboza received the international reporting award for his look at a how a "Red Nobility," made up of relatives of top Chinese officials, has made fortunes in businesses closely tied to the government. The Times staff won the explanatory reporting award for looking at the business practices of Apple Inc. and other technology companies.

In the feature writing category, John Branch of the Times won for a gripping narrative of an avalanche that trapped 16 skiers and snowboarders in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

The AP's Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen were recognized for "producing memorable images under extreme hazard" while covering the Syrian war, the judges wrote.

The same conflict was the subject of the winning entry in feature photography. Javier Manzano, a freelance photographer, won for an image of two rebel soldiers guarding their position as light streams through bullet holes in a nearby wall.

Steve Sack of the Sun Sentinel won for editorial cartooning.

Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal received the commentary award for columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics.

The Washington Post's chief art critic, Philip Kennicott, was honored for writing on the sociology of images.

The editorial writing award went to Tim Nickens and Daniel Ruth of the Tampa Bay Times.

Adam Johnson's "The Orphan Master's Son," about a man's travails in North Korea, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Ayad Akhtar won the drama prize for "Disgraced," and the history prize went to Frederik Logevall for "Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam," about Vietnam under the French. Tom Reiss won the biography prize for "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo."

Sharon Olds' chronicling of her divorces in her 12th poetry collection, "Stag's Leap," won her the Poetry prize.

The general nonfiction Pulitzer went to Gilbert King for "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America."

Caroline Shaw's composition "Partita for 8 Voices" took the music prize. She is a graduate student at Princeton University.

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