Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzer Prizes for Coverage of NSA leaks


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Yeah, that’s nice for the Journalists, but what about the whistle blower? It might help journalists and their publishers stand up more, but they are still going to need those whistleblowers. And whistleblowers can see that their lives will be ruined.

I’m looking at a case where both the government and a powerful industry want to shut down whistle blowers. They don’t want to flee the country, thrown into jail or sued to death by industry.
I not only want whistleblowers to be revealing stuff, I’d like them to profit from it! Crazy I know, but we talk about government waste and corruption. What is your reward for exposing it or stopping it? Satisfactions is nice, but you also get lawsuits, and possible arrest.
I’m hoping more people can find out and use qui tam laws so they can not only expose the fraud problems but sue the companies profiting from it.

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I won’t even say it is nice for the journalists… Seriously, this story was sitting out there for 10 years. They needed someone to pre-digest this and package it and hand it to them on a silver platter.

Watergate came when journalists investigated stories. When was the last time that happened? These guys winning a prize for someone else doing their job just highlights how far the industry has fallen.


I’m a bit confused on why the newspapers got the award, instead of specific journalists, since it’s not like the Snowden leaks were really large collection of staff reports.

Journalists should do a lot more muckraking, but if you look back at Watergate, they wouldn’t have had the story without Deepthroat. So there is both luck and tenacity, on the journalist’s part, and that person needs to be perceived as trustworthy by the source.

edit: spelling

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The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service has pretty much always been given to news organizations

There are other awards for individual reporters.

Full coverage of the Snowden disclosures pretty much requires the coordination of reporters on the foreign desks, the technology desk, capitol hill reporters, and so on. A paper that can cover all the facets well deserves to be recognized.

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In 1972, the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize in the same category

For the publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Though in 1918, the paper also won

For its public service in publishing in full so many official reports, documents and speeches by European statesmen relating to the progress and conduct of the war.

Apparently, journalism as transcription was once quite laudable.

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There’s a pretty decent chance Deep Throat picked Woodward because he was an easy mark:

…Felt gamed Woodward, making him think that he was on the side of the angels when what he was trying to do was screw his enemies and become the next J. Edgar Hoover.

Doesn’t mean he was right about Woodward though. Or wrong either. It kinda doesn’t matter. Positive results is positive results. History will (mis)judge, etc etc.

The pettiness, motive, or lack of imagination of the source doesn’t - of necessity - undermine the exposure of the bigger picture.

Although I wouldn’t be too surprised if pretty soon the Pulitzer Prize is found to have done drugs or shoplifted in its callow youth.

So then he picked the right journalist, no?

I completely agree – in fact, it could be argued that Deep Throat’s leaks had the greatest impact when they spun wildly out of his control. He wanted to keep Nixon in office, yet his leaks prompted a reaction that meant Nixon couldn’t stay.

Eh, not necessarily. The stories toppled a president, but also created a sentimental “noble insider” myth, and promoted a credulous journalist to a position of influence, with predictable results.

I didn’t click your link, but I’m not enamored with Woodward, which I guess you might be driving at. Anyway, he was the right journalist, at that right moment in time, which is not to say that that lasts forever.

Very true – an imperfect messenger is better than no messenger at all.

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