Monday, April 20, 2009

Writer at 34,000-circulation daily in upstate N.Y. wins Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing

An editorial writer from a 34,000-circulation newspaper in rural New York won this year's Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing today, on the strength of what the judges called "his relentless, down-to-earth editorials on the perils of local government secrecy, effectively admonishing citizens to uphold their right to know."

Mark Mahoney, right, is editorial page editor of The Post-Star in Glens Falls, the smallest paper to win a Pulitzer this year. He authors a nationally recognized blog about First Amendment issues, “Your Right to Know.”

"Editor Ken Tingley said Mahoney’s win made him think of the line from the movie 'Hoosiers,' when the basketball coach is urging on his small-school team to the championship," the Post-Star reports. Tingley said, "This is for all the small newspapers out there that never got to play in the game." Tingley said. The paper is part of Lee Enterprises.

Mahoney "has a gift for making dry topics, like the Freedom of Information Law, readable through entertaining examples and comparisons," his paper reported. He began a recent editorial about state government, "In the time it takes you to read this sentence, it will have spent about $20,000." (Encarta map)

Each entrant in the editorials category had to send in 10 examples of work. The jurors for the prize were Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Robert J. Caldwell, editorial page editor of The Oregonian; Nanya Friend, editor and publisher of the Charleston Daily Mail; Jeff Good, editor of the Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H., and White River Junction, Vt.; and Jonathan Wolman, editor and publisher of The Detroit News. Tucker, who chaired the jury, and Good, a regional neighbor of Mahoney, are former Pulitzer winners.


Laverne Zabielski said...

Mark, I like the idea of using reader comments. Are they emailed comments? Do you say who said them?
Do you tell them you are going to use them or ask permission

Al Cross said...

Mark says the comments were anyonymous and public.