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L.A. Times, WSJ Win Two Pulitzers Apiece


Associated Press Writer


Medical themes and statehouse sex scandals were among the varied subjects of this year´s Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, with The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal each capturing a pair of the coveted honors.

The Times won the public service award for its series exposing medical dangers at an inner-city hospital, and an international reporting prize for Kim Murphy´s coverage of Russia. The Journal´s Amy Dockser Marcus won the beat reporting prize for incisive pieces on cancer survivors, and Joe Morgenstern won in criticism for his movie reviews.

Dele Olojede of Newsday also won an international reporting prize, for reports on Rwanda a decade after it was ravaged by mass rape and genocide. And the war in Iraq earned The Associated Press its 48th Pulitzer, for work by a team of photographers.

In the arts field, Pulitzer winners included playwright John Patrick Shanley for “Doubt,” one of two plays he currently has on stage in New York, and Steve Coll, a Washington Post associate editor, for his non-fiction book, “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.”

Shanley, who won an Academy Award for his original screenplay for the film, “Moonstruck,” described himself in a brief biography as a director of both theater and film, who “otherwise seems completely clueless.” Coll previously won a journalism Pulitzer in 1990 for reporting from Afghanistan.

Ted Kooser, a retired insurance executive in Garland, Neb. who was named the nation´s poet laureate last August, won the Pulitzer Prize for “Delights & Shadows,” a collection of original verse.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., won in breaking news for its coverage of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey´s resignation after he admitted having an affair with a male lover. Aides later identified that man as the state´s director of homeland security.

It was only the paper´s second Pulitzer in 173 years, and its newsroom erupted when the award was announced. “It´s very satisfying because it´s an award for the whole paper,” said Editor Jim Willse, who estimated that about 100 staffers were involved in the coverage.

Walt Bogdanovich, who won a Pulitzer at the Wall Street Journal in 1988, earned one at The New York Times this year for a series of reports on corporations avoiding blame for fatal mishaps at railroad crossings. At least two other reporters have been double winners at different papers, said Sig Gissler, the Pulitzer Prize administrator, as the 2005 prizes were announced by Columbia University on Monday.

The investigative journalism prize went to Nigel Jaquiss, a former Wall Street oil trader who now writes for the alternative newspaper Willamette Week of Portland, Ore.

“I´m really surprised _ it´s just a tremendous honor,” Jaquiss tearfully told colleagues at the weekly, which has an unpaid circulation of 90,000.

Following up leads that larger papers had overlooked, Jaquiss documented three years of sexual misconduct involving Neil Goldschmidt, a former mayor of Portland, and his 14-year-old babysitter. Goldschmidt later became governor and Transportation Secretary under former President Carter.

The AP´s winning entry, its 29th for photography, consisted of 20 photos from Iraq by 11 different photographers, five of them Iraqis.

Among them were pictures of a soldier trying to locate a sniper by drawing fire, Marines praying over fallen comrades, and Iraqis celebrating near the charred bodies of slain U.S. contractors hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

AP President and CEO Tom Curley praised the “incredible courage” of the Iraq photographers. “They took some extraordinary pictures, they captured some incredible moments in history and they did it in a way that made all of us proud,” he said.

AP photographers Khalid Mohammed and Jim MacMillan were at work in Baghdad when they received the news. “This a big deal?” asked Mohammed, an Iraqi who shot the photos of the bodies at the bridge, and had only recently heard of the prizes.

Deanne Fitzmaurice of the San Francisco Chronicle won for feature photography for what judges called a “sensitive photo essay” on an Oakland hospital´s effort to mend an Iraqi boy wounded by an explosion.

“I feel like it really brought the war home to us,” she said.

Other awards in journalism:

_ Explanatory Journalism: Gareth Cook, The Boston Globe, for stories on the scientific and ethical dimensions of stem-cell research.

_ Feature Writing: Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune, for an account of how a tornado laid waste to the town of Utica, Ill.

_ Commentary: Connie Schultz, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, for incisive columns about the underprivileged.

_ Editorial Writing: Tom Philip, The Sacramento Bee., for editorials on water reclamation in California´s Hetch Hetchy Valley.

_ Editorial Cartooning: Nick Anderson, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

Other awards in the arts:

_ Fiction: Marilynne Robinson for “Gilead,” her poetic, modern-day tale of a dying Iowa preacher.

_ History: David Hackett Fischer, a professor at Brandeis University, for “Washington´s Crossing.”

_ Biography: Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan for “de Kooning: An American Master.”

_ Music: Steven Stucky for “Second Concerto for Orchestra.”