Pulitzer Prize goes to Huffington Post: major first for online media


By Noel Young | Correspondent

April 17, 2012 | 3 min read

The Huffington Post, the online news service founded by Arianna Huffington seven years ago, has won its first Pulitzer prize - the accolade that marks the very best in US journalism.

David Wood: Great journalism

The prize has gone to senior military correspondent David Wood who for eight months this past year, reported extensively on the lives of severely wounded veterans and their families.

His 10-part series "Beyond the Battlefield " took the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting. It was the first time the influential Pulitzer committee had recognised an online-only news organisation.

Editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington said, "We are delighted and deeply honoured by the award, which recognises both David’s exemplary piece of purposeful journalism and HuffPost’s commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people.

" We are very grateful to have won the prize for this series, the culmination of David Wood’s long career as a military correspondent, and an affirmation that great journalism is thriving on the Web."

Wood, 66, began his journalism career in 1970 as an editor for the Pioneer Press chain in Illinois. Shortly after joining The Huffington Post in early 2011, Wood began having discussions with executive editor Timothy O'Brien about the "Beyond the Battlefield" series.

Wood had spent decades covering wars, watching as wounded troops were loaded onto medical evacuation helicopters and, he said, "go off in a cloud of dust." But after their sacrifice on the battlefield, Wood said, "you never know what happened to them."

The series was the answer to that. One of the first things he learned, said Wood, was that "these young men and women who are severely wounded want you to notice them and want you to ask what happened."

Some media watchers said the Pulitzer committee's recognition of The Huffington Post represents a milestone for the organisation and digital news outlets in general.

The Huffington Post was a winner last year, in the blogging and commentary category, in the Online Media Awards in London and is an entrant again this year in the Drum event. The awards ceremony is being held at the Emirates Stadium in London on June 21st.


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