The Pulitzer Prizes have stood for excellence in journalism since the awards were first presented in 1917, fulfilling the vision publisher Joseph Pulitzer established in his 1904 will.
The Star Tribune proudly celebrated winning two Pulitzers on Monday — one for local reporting and one for editorial cartoons.
Staff writers Brad Schrade, Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt won the local reporting award for a series of stories that explored a spike in infant deaths in poorly regulated home day care operations in Minnesota. Judges noted that the stories led to legislative action that strengthened the state’s day care rules.
Steve Sack, the Star Tribune’s editorial cartoonist since 1981 and a Pulitzer finalist in 2004, won for what judges called a “diverse collection of cartoons, using an original style and clear ideas to drive home his unmistakable point of view.”
The Star Tribune’s news coverage on the Pulitzer announcements rightly focused on the individual winners. All four are dedicated journalists whose work deserved national recognition.
But the prizewinning journalists and their colleagues realize that their work would not have been possible without the loyal print and online readers who continue to support quality journalism.
After emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in 2009, the Star Tribune has emphasized the kind of deeply reported local coverage exemplified by the day care series.
And, unlike some U.S. newspapers, the paper has invested in opinion journalism. Sack’s award-winning work is a result of that investment and his dedication to the craft.
Congratulations to Schrade, Olson, Howatt and Sack for making Monday an important day for journalism in Minnesota and an unforgettable day for the Star Tribune.