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Detroit Free Press Wins Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting

MARY SCHROEDER/Detroit Free Press
Staff writers Jim Schaefer, left, and Mike Elrick read online that they had won the Pulitzer as Free Press Editor and Vice-President Paul Anger looks on, right.

We want to salute the Detroit Free Press for its brilliant investigation into Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, which won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting Monday, April 20.

The Free Press investigation into Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was led by reporters Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick. The two broke the text-message story that the mayor and aide Christine Beatty had lied under oath about their intimate relationship and about punishing police officers for what they knew or might find out about the mayor.

“Winning journalism’s top prize caps a year of great achievement by the Detroit Free Press staff. Their dedication to public service journalism and their execution of a story of this magnitude to their community is a fine example of the work Gannett strives to achieve across the company,” said Gannett Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Dubow in a press release. “We congratulate the Free Press and its staff on their excellent work.”

Paul Anger, editor of the Free Press said in a story about the award: “I think it illustrates the importance of great reporting in a community. This story was told on the Web, in print, in multimedia ways, but the basis of it was fantastic reporting that any community, and especially Detroit now more than ever, just cannot afford to do without.

In hundreds of stories throughout 2008, the newspaper detailed how the mayor had conspired to destroy the texts and hide from the public and city council why he settled the whistleblower lawsuit that cost the city $9 million.

The result: The mayor was forced out of office, served a 120-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to two felonies, surrendered his law license and agreed to pay $1 million in restitution to taxpayers.

We extend our heartiest congratulations to the entire Detroit Free Press team, editor Paul Anger and reporters Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick for their exceptional work.㄀

To read the Free Press story about the Pulitzer Prize, click here.

To read the coverage of the mayor, click here.

To read Detroit Free Press Editor Paul Anger’s Q&A on how the newspaper approached the investigation of the mayor, click here.

Detroit‘s Mike Thompson named Pulitzer finalist for editorial cartooning

Mike Thompson, editorial cartoonist for the Detroit Free Press, was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning for the third time in four years.㄀

Judges said that Thompson was cited for “his compelling collection of print and animated cartoons that blend the great traditions of the craft with new online possibilities.”

Among the work submitted to be judged were cartoons on the text message scandal involving Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Wall Street fat cats, the administration of George W. Bush and auto industry issues.

To read more details on Thompson’s work, click here. ㄀

To see Thompson’s current work, click here.

Last Modified: April 2009