April 12, 2010

Dallas Morning News wins Pulitzer for editorial writing

The Dallas Morning News today won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for its "relentless editorials deploring the stark social and economic disparity between the city's better-off northern half and distressed southern half."

Morning News Editor Bob Mong hailed the project, now in its third year, as a towering example of sustained reporting on a subject.

"Very few newspaper projects go beyond one year," Mong said. "This one will continue. It has been an extremely ambitious, substantive project that's beginning to get a lot of results."

Named as winners of the award, the most prestigious in journalism, were editorial writers Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson and William McKenzie.

They were directed by Sharon Grigsby, deputy editorial page editor, and Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The News.

It was the ninth Pulitzer in the history of The News.

The winning entry -- which, editors stressed, is a continuing effort -- examined the disparities between northern Dallas and the city's southern sector.

The editorial board team was able to "apply sustained attention to a very complex social issue," said Willey, something that happens too rarely in daily newspaper work. "With things that don't change quickly, sometimes we lose focus."

The project was launched during an economic downtown for newspapers, but publisher Jim Moroney said he was convinced of its merits.

"When the idea was raised about hiring a researcher when we were in the depths of cutting expenses, Bob [Mong] was a strong advocate," he said, "and such is my faith in his judgment that I approved it.

"We have the most activist editorial board in the United States, and I'm so proud of that," Moroney said.

The Pulitzers were announced this afternoon at Columbia University in New York City.