The Pulitzer for Breaking News Photos: Breakthrough for the Post?

By ROY J. HARRIS, JR. / There’s a line in the “first rough draft” of recent Post-Dispatch history – the paper’s own account of winning its first Pulitzer Prize in 26 years on Monday – that sounds a bittersweet note, at least to me. “The mood in the newsroom became tense as [Pulitzer administrator Mike] Pride read through the awards for reporting,” writes Tim O’Neil. “When he started into the next-to-last category, breaking news photography, and uttered the words ‘…to the St. Louis…,’ the room erupted in joy.” The sweet is obvious: “Photographers hugged each other to the cheers of their colleagues.” Echoes, to be sure, of 17 other newsroom celebrations held by Post-Dispatch staffers over nine decades. The bitter? That the remarkable, intensive news coverage by Post-Dispatch reporters and editors – of the same Ferguson nightmare of violence that led to the photography Pulitzer – received no mention, either as winner or finalist.