Roy Harris, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, writes for Poynter about The Journal’s chances for a Pulitzer Prize this year given the dearth of wins in the past decade.
Harris writes, “Some Journal people blame the Pulitzer shut-out on the calendar-year cycle that seems to guide the judging of some Pulitzer entries. The Dec. 31 end date for stories that can be entered meant that the Journal’s early stories on the company’s problems, and the paper’s deep coverage of its decline and fall, couldn’t be entered in one strong package. Still, Carreyrou did win other awards early in his Theranos coverage — including a Polk Award for financial reporting and a Loeb Award for beat reporting.
“Of course, Journal staffers understand that the strong competition for Pulitzers means that many worthy stories fail to be named finalists each year. And that’s certainly true in covering today’s White House, where one scandal report seems to follow another. Still, the failure of Theranos to win stumps them.
“There’s also suspicion that some in the Pulitzer organization may be biased because of the Journal’s now decade-long ownership by Rupert Murdoch, seen by the left as something of a pariah among mainstream publications because he also owns Fox News, and backs the president.
“The Journal, though, has won Pulitzers in the past decade – including a 2015 Investigative Prize for exposing Medicare fraud – even if its wins don’t come quite as often as in previous years. Staffers there also note that the hush-money story and the exposing of Theranos (a company in which Murdoch was said to have personally lost on a large investment) prove that the Journal remains independent enough to tell truth to power, including the power of its owner.”
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