The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists:
• Public Service: The Las Vegas Sun, notably Alexandra Berzon, for exposing the high death rate among construction workers on the Las Vegas Strip. Finalists: The New York Times for coverage of the economic meltdown of 2008; the St. Petersburg Times for PolitiFact, its fact-checking initiative during the 2008 presidential campaign.
• Breaking News Reporting: The New York Times for its coverage of a sex scandal that resulted in the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Finalists: The Houston Chronicle for its coverage of Hurricane Ike; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for its coverage of a city hall shooting that killed six people.
• Investigative Reporting: David Barstow of The New York Times for reporting on how some retired generals had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for war as radio and television analysts. Finalists: Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times for exposing financial abuses by the head of California’s largest union; Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for stories that stirred federal action on dangerous chemicals in everyday products.
• Explanatory Reporting: Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times for exploring attempts to combat Western wildfires. Finalists: Adam Liptak of The New York Times for exposing differences in the U.S. judicial system from other those of other countries; Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Brady Dennis of The Washington Post for explaining why AIG nearly collapsed.
• Local Reporting: The Detroit Free Press, notably Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick; and Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. The Free Press was cited for uncovering lies by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick that included denial of a sexual relationship with an aide that eventually led to jail terms for the two officials. The Tribune won for revealing how a popular sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety. Finalists: Brendan McCarthy, Michael DeMocker and Ryan Smith of The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune for coverage of a murder case.
• National Reporting: St. Petersburg Times for PolitiFact, a fact-checking initiative during the 2008 presidential campaign. Finalists: Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest of The Washington Post for covering abuses at immigration detention centers; John Shiffman, John Sullivan and Tom Avril of The Philadelphia Inquirer for environmental reporting; The Wall Street Journal for covering problems with the U.S. financial system.
• International Reporting: The New York Times for coverage of U.S. military challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Finalists: Rukmini Callimachi of The Associated Press for investigating the plight of impoverished children in Africa; The Washington Post for coverage of female oppression in the developing world.
• Feature Writing: Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times for coverage of a neglected girl and her adoption. Finalists: John Barry of the St. Petersburg Times for coverage of a crippled dolphin; Amy Ellis Nutt of The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, for coverage of a stroke victim who then became an artist; and Diane Suchetka of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for coverage of a mechanic whose arms were reattached after an accident.
• Commentary: Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post for columns on the 2008 presidential campaign. Finalists: Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer for insightful columns; Paul Krugman of The New York Times for columns on the financial crisis.
• Criticism: Holland Cotter of The New York Times for art reviews. Finalists: Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer for architecture reviews; Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe for art reviews.
• Editorial Writing: Mark Mahoney of The Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y., for editorials on local government secrecy. Finalists: Charles Lane of The Washington Post for editorials on the financial crisis; John McCormick, Marie Dillon and Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune for writing about government corruption.
• Editorial Cartooning: Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune for a style that engages readers. Finalists: Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press for blending tradition with online possibilities; Matt Wuerker of Politico for mixing art and ideas.
• Breaking News Photography: Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for photos of the aftermath of disastrous storms. Finalists: The Associated Press for photos of the aftermath of a Chinese earthquake; Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times for photos of political violence in Kenya.
• Feature Photography: Damon Winter of The New York Times for photos of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Finalists: Carol Guzy of The Washington Post for coverage of maternal mortality in Sierra Leone; Sonya Hebert of The Dallas Morning News for photos of terminally ill patients.
• Fiction: “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout (Random House). Finalists: “The Plague of Doves” by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins); “All Souls” by Christine Schutt (Harcourt).
• Drama: “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage. Finalists: “Becky Shaw” by Gina Gionfriddo; “In The Heights,” by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes.
• History: “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” by Annette Gordon-Reed (W.W. Norton & Co.). Finalists: “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” by Drew Gilpin Faust (Alfred A. Knopf); “The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s” by G. Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot (The Penguin Press).
• Biography: “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” by Jon Meacham (Random House). Finalists: “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt” by H.W. Brands (Doubleday); “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century” by Steve Coll (The Penguin Press).
• Poetry: “The Shadow of Sirius” by W.S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press). Finalists: “Watching the Spring Festival” by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); “What Love Comes To: New & Selected Poems” by Ruth Stone (Copper Canyon Press).
• General Nonfiction: “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II” by Douglas A. Blackmon (Doubleday). Finalists: “Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age” by Arthur Herman (Bantam Books); “The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe” by William I. Hitchcock (Free Press).
“Double Sextet” by Steve Reich (Boosey & Hawkes). Finalists: “7 Etudes for Solo Piano” by Don Byron (nottuskegeelike music/BMI); “Brion” by Harold Meltzer (Urban Scrawl Music Co.).