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Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2007 article


The Wall Street Journal  

April 17, 2007


Wall Street Journal
Wins Pair of Pulitzers

Options-Probe Articles
Get Public-Service Medal;
China Coverage Honored
April 17, 2007; Page A2


The Wall Street Journal won two Pulitzer Prizes, journalism's highest honor, for stories exposing the widespread practice of backdating stock-option awards and for international reporting on the strains produced by China's fast-growing economy.




The articles on options backdating that won the Pulitzer for public service.

• The Perfect Payday1
March 18
• Five More Companies Show Questionable Options Pattern2
May 22
• At HealthSouth, an Options Issue3
May 31
• Executive Pay: The 9/11 Factor4
July 15
• See all of the prize-winning options articles5.


[China's Naked Capitalism]

The Wall Street Journal chronicled the effects of China's rush to capitalism in a series of front page articles in 2006.

• Blogger Hits Home by Urging Boycott of Chinese Property6
June 12
• As China's Auto Market Booms, Leaders Clash Over Heavy Toll7
June 13
• In Booming China, a Doctor Battles a Polluting Factory8
July 19
• China's Big Push to Stoke Economy Rattles Rural Tibet9
Aug. 24
• See all of the prize-winning China articles.10


The Journal, published by Dow Jones & Co., won its first-ever prize in the public-service category. In a memo to the newspaper's staff, Managing Editor Paul Steiger wrote: "I believe one of our highest callings as a news organization is to unearth the ills of business so that society can fix them. The exposure of the pernicious disease of options backdating was a particularly dramatic example of just that."

The prizes, for 14 journalism categories and seven arts categories, were announced yesterday in New York by Columbia University, which administers the Pulitzer competition.

The public-service award recognized a series of detailed investigations by reporters Charles Forelle, 27 years old; James Bandler, 40; Mark Maremont, 48; and Steve Stecklow, 53, that probed the practice of backdating at corporations from UnitedHealth Group Inc. to Apple Inc. The stories fueled federal investigations of more than 140 companies. At least 70 top executives have lost their jobs and 10 former executives are facing federal or state criminal charges in the backdating scandal.

The Pulitzer board recognized the Journal for "...its creative and comprehensive probe into backdated stock options for business executives that triggered investigations, the ouster of top officials and widespread change in corporate America."

The Journal's prize for international reporting recognized staff members for "sharply edged reports on the adverse impact of China's booming capitalism on conditions ranging from inequality to pollution." The series of stories -- by reporters James T. Areddy, 43; Andrew Browne, 48; Jason Dean, 33; Gordon Fairclough, 40; Mei Fong, 35; Shai Oster, 34; and Jane Spencer, 30 -- exposed the strain China's rapid development puts on its people and environment.

Said L. Gordon Crovitz, executive vice president of Dow Jones and publisher of the Journal, "It's fitting that the Journal should be recognized for breaking the biggest business story of the year, using proprietary algorithms to uncover suspicious timing of stock options, and for putting in full context the enormous growth of China's economy."

The Journal was the only paper this year to win multiple awards.

This year marked the first time the Pulitzer board included a full array of online material in its judging for most of its journalism categories. The committee noted the digital components as creating rich, compelling coverage for a number of the award winners. Also this year, a local reporting category for journalism replaced the beat reporting category.

The national reporting award went to Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe for reports about President Bush using "signing statements" to bypass provisions of new laws. Andrea Elliott of the New York Times won the award in feature writing for a story about an immigrant imam in America. Both newspapers are owned by the New York Times Co.

Kenneth R. Weiss, Usha Lee McFarling and Rick Loomis of Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times won the explanatory reporting award for a series about the world's distressed ocean ecology. Walt Handelsman of Tribune's Newsday in Long Island won the editorial cartoon award.

The local reporting award went to Debbie Cenziper of McClatchy Co.'s Miami Herald for reports about corruption at a Miami housing agency.




The above photograph by Oded Balilty of the Associated Press was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.



The staff of the Oregonian in Portland, Ore., won the breaking news award for coverage of a family missing in the Oregon mountains. The Pulitzer committee noted the "skillful and tenacious coverage" in both print and online. Brett Blackledge of the Birmingham (Ala.) News won the investigative reporting award for exposing "cronyism and corruption" in the state's two-year college system.

In the arts category, the Pulitzer for fiction went to "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, published by Alfred A. Knopf. David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole" won for drama.

The awards bring to 33 the number of Pulitzer Prizes won by The Journal. The awards carry a prize of $10,000, except the public-service award, for which the winning newspaper receives a gold medal.

Write to Emily Steel at emily.steel@wsj.com11

The 2007 Pulitzer Prize Winners


Public Service: The Wall Street Journal
Breaking News Reporting: Staff of the Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
Investigative Reporting: Brett Blackledge of the Birmingham (Ala.) News
Explanatory Reporting: Kenneth R. Weiss, Usha Lee McFarling and Rick Loomis of the Los Angeles Times
Local Reporting: Debbie Cenziper of the Miami Herald
National Reporting: Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe
International Reporting: The Wall Street Journal Staff
Feature Writing: Andrea Elliott of the New York Times
Commentary: Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Criticism: Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly
Editorial Writing: Editorial Board of the New York Daily News
Editorial Cartooning: Walt Handelsman of Newsday, Long Island, N.Y.
Breaking News Photography: Oded Balilty of the Associated Press
Feature Photography: Renee C. Byer of the Sacramento Bee


Fiction: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf)
Drama: "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire
History: "The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation" by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff (Alfred A. Knopf)
Biography: "The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher" by Debby Applegate (Doubleday)
Poetry: "Native Guard" by Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin)
General Nonfiction: "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" by Lawrence Wright (Alfred A.Knopf)


"Sound Grammar" by Ornette Coleman, recording released September 12, 2006.

* * *

Special Citation -- John Coltrane
Special Citation -- Ray Bradbury

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