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The 2008 Pulitzer Prizes

2008 Washington Post Winners

Correction to This Article
The article misstated the number of bylined reporters and contributors to The Washington Post's coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. Fifty Post journalists, in addition to 11 bylined reporters, contributed to the coverage, which won the Pulitzer for breaking news. Also, this article contained errors in reporting the categories of two Pulitzer Prize winners for photography. Preston Gannaway of the Concord Monitor won the prize for feature photography, and Adrees Latif of Reuters took the award for breaking news photography.
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The Post Wins 6 Pulitzer Prizes

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Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. announced The Washington Post's six Pulitzer Prize winners Monday from the newsroom.Video by Jacqueline Refo/washingtonpost.comRead the Story

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Fainaru said he struggled with his decision to return to Iraq for a second tour and the impact it would have on his family. "Once you get into the story, you just become so connected to it," he said. "I just didn't feel ready to let it go in some complicated way."

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Pearlstein won the commentary award for his financial columns, many of them early warnings that mounting problems in subprime mortgages and other credit markets posed a serious threat to the nation's economy. He wrote last August that the credit crunch was "a financial, economic and political time bomb."

Pearlstein said he felt "pretty confident" about his stance after writing about economic changes in the 1990s and that, among his editors, "there was no pressure to pull back at all." Pearlstein's entry was sent in by the paper's business editor after The Post did not nominate him.

Weingarten, the Post Magazine's resident humorist, won the Pulitzer for feature writing with a story on an internationally acclaimed violinist who agreed to don street clothes and play outside a Metro station to see how many commuters would give him donations. Most ignored the violinist, Joshua Bell, and his $3 million Stradivarius violin.

Weingarten said he got the idea after concluding that even cellist Yo-Yo Ma would be overlooked at a subway station, and he spent a long time trying to get Ma to join his scheme. After winning Bell's cooperation, he said, he was repeatedly turned down by Metro authorities. "They finally told us we could go ahead if we want, but they would arrest Joshua Bell if it was anywhere on Metro property," Weingarten said. He persuaded a management company to let Bell play near a Metro escalator.

The prizes, administered by Columbia University, also included seven arts awards and a special music citation for Bob Dylan.

The Times's Bogdanich, who has now won three Pulitzers, said the challenge of investigating Chinese imports was reporting from around the world. He said he suspected Chinese medicines were responsible for deaths in Panama because a decade earlier he had done a "60 Minutes" report on Haitian babies dying from poisoned cough medicine that originated in China. "It bothered the hell out of me, and I saw a similar pattern unfolding in Panama," he said.

George de Lama, a Tribune managing editor, said his paper's investigation of defective baby products began when a pregnant reporter, Patricia Callahan, looked into the case of a 20-month-old boy who died after swallowing a toy's magnetic parts. "She just grabbed onto the story and wouldn't let go," de Lama said of the effort that led in part to China and prompted the recall of more than 1 million cribs.

In other awards, the Boston Globe's Mark Feeney took the criticism prize for his writing on the arts. David Umhoefer of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won the Pulitzer for local reporting for work on how tax laws were skirted to inflate the pensions of county employees.

Michael Ramirez of Investor's Business Daily won the editorial cartooning prize for the second time. The feature photography award went to Adrees Latif of Reuters -- the wire service's first Pulitzer -- while Preston Gannaway of the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire won for breaking news photography.

The judges decided that no entry for editorial writing merited an award.

The record for most Pulitzers in a year is the seven won by the New York Times in 2002, most of them for its coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Yesterday's awards brought to 25 the number of Pulitzers awarded to The Post since Downie became executive editor in 1991 -- more than half the prizes in the newspaper's history.


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