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Times wins Pulitzer for fire series [UPDATED]


Los Angeles Times reporters Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart have won a Pulitzer Prize for their series of stories on how brush fires are fought.

The series found that a century after the government declared war on wildfire, fire is gaining the upper hand. Wildland blazes are growing bigger, fiercer and harder to put out. Firefighting costs are rising  too, and much of the money is going to private contractors. The story also looked at so-called CNN drops:

Fire commanders are often pressured to order firefighting planes and helicopters into action even when they won't do any good. The reason: Aerial drops of water and retardant make good television.

Boxall and Cart credited Times Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin with helping shape the series.

"Hooray for the L.A. Times. It was great that we were given the amount of time to report something that is so important to our readers," Cart said.

Times Editor Russ Stanton said the paper is committed to continuing this type of long-project journalism.

[Updated at 1 p.m.] Stanton noted that fewer papers are doing in-depth reporting but that the L.A. Times "will always be one" that does such stories.

Here's the full project.

Additionally, Times reporter Paul Pringle was a finalist for his meticulously researched stories that, in the face of threats, exposed financial abuses by the head of California’s largest union, leading to investigations, the union leader’s departure from office and repayment of misappropriated funds. Times photographer Carolyn Cole was a finalist  for "on-the-spot coverage of political violence in Kenya, capturing the terror as rebellion and reprisals jolted the nation."

The New York Times won five Pulitzers. Here is the full list of winners:

Public Service -- Las Vegas Sun

Breaking News Reporting -- the New York Times Staff

Investigative Reporting -- David Barstow of the New York Times

Explanatory Reporting -- Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times

Local Reporting -- Detroit Free Press staff
Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

National Reporting -- St. Petersburg Times staff

International Reporting -- the New York Times staff

Feature Writing -- Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times

Commentary -- Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post

Criticism -- Holland Cotter of the New York Times

Editorial Writing -- Mark Mahoney of the Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Editorial Cartooning -- Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune

Breaking News Photography -- Patrick Farrell of the Miami Herald

Feature Photography -- Damon Winter of the New York Times


Fiction -- "Olive Kitteridge," by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

Drama -- "Ruined," by Lynn Nottage

History -- "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family," by Annette Gordon-Reed (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Biography -- "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," by Jon Meacham (Random House)

Poetry -- "The Shadow of Sirius," by W.S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press)

General Nonfiction -- "Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II," by Douglas A. Blackmon (Doubleday)

Music -- "Double Sextet," by Steve Reich, premiered March 26, 2008, in Richmond, Va. (Boosey & Hawkes)

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Julie Cart, left, Bettina Boxall and Marc Duvoisin celebrate their win in the newsroom.  Credit: Colin Crawford / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (10)

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Times for a job well done. I am so proud to be an Angeleno today and hope to have the chance to work with such a wonderful team of reporters, writers and editors one day. Thanks for all that you do.

Congratulations! Now you can lay them off so they can
keep their colleagues company
Of course, this will not be printed, will it.

Congrats! But what you should really do for us "people" is to be the first news agency to expose all the coruption in our government, unless your in on it to. Which I hope not.

Congratulations, Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart. Your getting the award is another good reason to read your series once again. FELICIDADES, amigos!

Congrats, but you're still getting your lunch handed to you by the NY Times (5 to 1 this time). Careful how deep you cut staff, you're still far behind the gold standard in journalism, East Coast bias or not.

Congratulations Julie and Bettina...!
This is the result of intelligence and skill, not to mention a lot of very hard work. No further proof is needed that great journalism needs the time and support it deserves...from your proud friends in Australia ..we love you Julie!...Judi and Ian.

The big irony of these awards is that a real outsider paper snuck in to take something away from the usual suspects.

That would be the East Valley Tribune, of Mesa, AZ, a newspaper which barely exists anymore. They laid off 40 percent of their staff in January, and publish only 3 days a week now. Two of the staffers who won the award now are trying to make a living running a political blog.

It's nice to see Julie Cart, an alum of Arizona State, win an award. GO SUN DEVILS!!!

Notice how the L.A. Times now only gives readers the opportunity to comment when the story is a self-serving L.A. Times feel good story? The reason simple: the so-called reporting by the Times is sophomoric, biased and agenda driven garbage and the Times does not want to give the readers a forum on its own website which the majority of commentators use to excoriate the Times' garbage stories. So much for the Times supporting free speech.

Congratulations to both Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart. Fantastic work.
I personally feel that Myron Levi ought to have gotten an award for his expose on U-Haul. Congratulations nonetheless. Keep up the good work! I hope The LA Times will be around for many more years to come.

恭喜 Julie Cart! 你是最棒 ! 我爱你.


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