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02/16/2017

Ohio celebrates 100 years of home state journalism Pulitzer winners

From Pulitzer.org

The Pulitzer Centennial celebration in 2016 was big. Hundreds of Campfire events in dozens of states, four marquee programs and fantastic student workshops highlighted the diversity of the prizes and the ideas they continue to spark.

We began chronicling community-based programming in 2016, and continue to recognize good work produced around the country in celebration of our 100th anniversary.

In Ohio, students, faculty and staff from the Ohio Newspaper Association, Ohio University and Bowling Green State University teamed up on a project to celebrate 100 years of Pulitzer winners from their state with a video and website.

Ohio University journalism grad and current master’s degree candidate Kate Hiller led the project. Asked if she learned anything surprising about her home state in the process she replied, “Ohio has some pretty talented reporters! Not that it’s that much of a surprise, more like a nice reminder.” She said she was humbled that prize winners “would take the time to chat with a college student, record — and sometimes re-record — interviews.”

As a college sophomore, Hiller took a feature writing class from 2005 Pulitzer winner Julia Keller, whose prize-winning work in the Chicago Tribune reconstructed the path of a deadly tornado that ripped through Utica, Ill. Making the current video led her to spend time with Toledo Blade reporters who wrote about atrocities by Tiger Force, an elite U.S. Army platoon, during the Vietnam War. That work was recognized in 2004.

“I’m also a bit of a data nerd, so learning about how the records were obtained and the investigation process itself was really cool,” Hiller said of her interviews with the Blade staffers.

The director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Bob Stewart, commissioned the work, and Jim Foust in northern Ohio put together the site and other resources for the project.