Thursday, April 21, 2016

Former community journalist added to Pulitzer Prize after paper is reminded he wrote editorials

Brian Gleason
A honest mistake has netted a former journalist part of a Pulitzer Prize. When the Charlotte Sun, a 30,000-circulation daily newspaper in Southwest Florida, won the award Monday for eight unsigned editorials about the death of a prison inmate, Editor John Hackworth was named the sole winner, Michael Grynbaum reports for The New York Times. It turns out former editorial-page editor Brian Gleason actually wrote three of the eight, and the newspaper apparently forgot about Gleason's contributions.

"On Wednesday, after a polite if somewhat awkward exchange between the newspaper and prize administrators at Columbia University, Gleason was officially added as a co-winner in the category," Grynbaum writes. "It is apparently only the second time in the 100-year history of the Pulitzers that such a change has been made." Gleason, who left the newspaper in August, was quick to rule out foul play. "Asked if he believed the oversight could have been intentional, he replied, 'Absolutely not. I wasn’t forced out, I didn’t quit in a huff, I didn’t send a nastygram to everybody in the paper." He said Hackworth was “beside himself” over the mistake.

"The prizewinning editorials, which topped entries from two other finalists, The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times, concerned the beating death of an inmate by corrections officers at a state prison in southern Florida," Grynbaum writes. "The coverage led to the dismissals or resignations of several officers involved and to a change in the prison’s administration." (Read more)

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