Media Moves

A Pulitzer first, with a comic strip

April 18, 2011

Paul Steiger, the editor in chief of ProPublica, writes Monday about the work of ProPublica reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein, who were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for their stories on how some Wall Street bankers, seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their clients and sometimes even their own firms, at first delayed but then worsened the financial crisis.

Steiger writes, “This was the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to an online news organization. This year’s Prize is the first for a group of stories not published in print.

“Jesse and Jake’s work was greatly augmented by partnerships with public radio’s ‘Planet Money’ and ‘This American Life.’ While radio reporting is not eligible for the Pulitzer, we want to acknowledge a great debt to, and celebrate our partnership with, Adam Davidson and Ira Glass and their teams. I also urge you, if you haven’t seen them before, to check out the two songs — a Broadway-style parody from the team that has recently collaborated on ‘The Book of Mormon,’ and a work from the young geniuses who Auto-Tune the News — that accompanied this series. There’s also a comic strip.

“But while we poked fun at the ironies in this story, and by so doing tried to make it more accessible, its central point is quite serious, and critically important: that the mores of Wall Street, at least in the period 2006-2008, were not consistent with the public interest or the national interest, and that greater oversight (and perhaps enforcement actions) may be in order. Our ultimate test for our work at ProPublica is impact, and we believe this reporting has helped spur activity by the SEC and the Congress — activity we continue to cover, as recently as twice this past week.”

Read more here.

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