Stories on NYPD Spying, Joe Paterno Win Pulitzers

The Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting Monday for documenting the New York Police Department's spying on Muslims, while The Philadelphia Inquirer was honored in the public service category for its examination of violence in the city's schools.

Pulitzer Prize Medallion
Source: Pulitzer.org
Pulitzer Prize Medallion

The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., won for local reporting for breaking the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that eventually forced out legendary football coach Joe Paterno.

A second Pulitzer for investigative reporting went to The Seattle Times for a series about accidental methadone overdoses among patients with chronic pain.

The New York Times won two Pulitzers, for explanatory and international reporting.

The Huffington Post received its first Pulitzer, in national reporting, for its exploration of the challenges facing American veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The judges declined to award a prize for editorial writing. Last year, they passed on giving out any breaking news prize.

The Pulitzers are given out annually by Columbia University on the recommendation of a board of journalists and others. Each award carries a $10,000 prize except for the public service award, which is a gold medal.

The AP's series of stories showed how New York police, with the help of a CIA official, created a unique and aggressive surveillance program to monitor Muslim neighborhoods, businesses and houses of worship.

The articles showed police systemically listened in on sermons, infiltrated colleges and photographed law-abiding residents as part of a broad effort to prevent terrorist attacks. Individuals and groups were monitored even when there was no evidence they were linked to terrorism.

The series, which began in August, was by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley. The stories prompted protests, a demand from 34 members of Congress for a federal investigation, and an internal inquiry by the CIA's inspector general.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have defended the program as a legal tool for keeping the city safe.