THE THIN BLUE LINEWhat?? Nothing for Rolling Stone's reporting on the horrific rape of Jackie at UVA?
Monday was the annual day of self-congratulation for traditional journalists – the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners. 2016’s awards (and finalists) recognized a parade of journalists whose work was overtly hostile to law enforcement.
Pulitzer Prize Medal
The award for national reporting went to the Washington Post for (to quote the Pulitzer committee) “its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be.”
The award for “explanatory reporting” went to ProPublica for a “startling examination and exposé of law enforcement’s enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims”.
The award for editorial writing went to Sun Newspapers in Charlotte, Florida “for fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers.”
One of two finalists in editorial writing was the Baltimore Sun “for editorials that demanded accountability in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray”. The Sun was also a finalist for breaking news reporting on the Freddie Gray story, “for fast moving coverage of the rioting.”
The Post & Courier in South Carolina was a finalist “for its tenacious effort in obtaining video of a police officer shooting an unarmed Walter Scott …”
A finalist in local reporting was the Miami Herald “for the impressive reporting … on a local drug sting that cost tens of millions of dollars but yielded no significant arrests”.
What Monday’s awards reinforce is the premium that the journalistic establishment places on activist journalism that sides reflexively with prison inmates, victims of police shootings and the like (i.e. in many cases criminals), and that seeks to undermine law enforcement. In the view of the Pulitzer Committee, and the newspaper editors clamoring for awards, cops and prison guards are not hard working, underpaid custodians of law and order. Rather they are corrupt, racist objects for “investigations” and exposes. And a way for journalists to win awards, engage in self-congratulation and, inevitably, enjoy remuneration.