For the second year in a row, nonprofit new-media outfit ProPublica won a Pulitzer Prize, this time for Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein's work explaining Wall Street malfeasance to readers. The New York Times won two, for the international reportage of Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry on Russia's justice system, and the economic and health-care commentary of David Leonhardt. The Los Angeles Times also brought home two awards, for public service in their exposure of corruption in the small town of Bell, California, and for Barbara Davidson's photography of urban gang violence. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Chicago Sun-Times, the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the Denver Post, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe each nabbed one honor. And The Wall Street Journal, which has a somewhat contentious relationship with the Pulitzers, won one for Joseph Rago's editorial writing — even after editor Robert Thomson sent out a preemptive memo to staff this morning bolstering morale in case they didn't win any. Rago was rewarded for his steady "against-the-grain" criticism of President Obama's health care initiatives.
In Letters, Drama, and Music, Bruce Norris's play Clybourne Park took home top honors. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, by Eric Foner, won for history, and Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow, for biography. Kay Ryan took the top poetry honor, and Zhou Long, for his opera Madame White Snake. Oh, and in literary repeat news: Jennifer Egan has once again bested Jonathan Franzen. Her A Visit From the Goon Squad won out over the much-anticipated Freedom, just as it did at the National Book Awards.
Pulitzer Prize List [Pulitzer.org]