Two years ago, the Pulitzer committee turned down an entry from Knight Ridder’s Washington Bureau for its reports challenging the Bush administration during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. “Those stories arguably were of Pulitzer Prize quality. After all, while much of the press joined in lock-step with the administration’s march to war, Knight Ridder (now McClatchy Newspapers) and its three correspondents [Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott] had the courage to buck the tide and dig out well-grounded misgivings about the build-up to war,” writes Gilbert Cranberg, a University of Iowa journalism professor and former Des Moines Register editorial page editor. Cranberg argues that the Pulitzer committee should now reconsider the work of these reporters and issue a special citation or special award. It has done so 30 times in the past, he points out. “This country’s press did not distinguish itself with its pre-war Iraq coverage. The equivalent of mea culpas run by both the [New York] Times and the [Washington] Post are a measure of how deficient it was. The ‘lonely journalism’ of Knight Ridder and staffers Landay, Strobel and Walcott were outstanding exceptions that merit Pulitzer recognition,” Cranberg writes.
Pulitzer proposed for KR's pre-war coverage
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