*Updated… additional details at bottom of entry.
Blogging pioneer Luke Ford is questioning the credentials of LA Observed’s Kevin Roderick, who lists sharing “in two Pulitzer Prizes awarded for staff coverage” while working at the Los Angeles Times.
Does that mean that everyone who worked on these series (must be more than 50 people) shared in these Pulitzers? Does it mean his name is inscribed on the Pulitzers (awarded in 1993 and 1995, right?)? I don’t think you can claim a Pulitzer unless you were specifically awarded one.
Ford adds that he doesn’t believe Roderick’s name wasn’t on any of the winning articles bylines, and that he was only an editor. ” It seems like a stretch to say that you shared in a Pulitzer when your name wasn’t on any of the stories awarded.”
Mayor Sam, where I found this, jumped on this, with the headline, “Kevin Roderick a fraud?”
I have a friend who won an Emmy and I took him out to dinner. Maybe I should claim that I’ve won an Emmy?
I emailed Roderick a couple questions for comment. His response:
Unlike the individual Pulitzers, on staff ones they give awards to all the writers and editors who had key roles on the stories — probably more than 50 in these cases. They don’t inscribe names on any Pulitzer trophies, I don’t think, but certainly not on staff ones. The plaques we all received for spot reporting in 1992 and 1994 are nice 5 x 7 inch lucite-type rectangles, with a replica of the front page embedded inside, and some wording about the prize at the bottom. I’m looking at my two right now — very dusty, but otherwise sort of nice looking. You can come over and see them anytime.
Do you know what Luke Ford’s motivation was for bringing this up now?
I have no idea what Luke Ford’s motivation is for posting something so unresearched and clearly erroneous. Michael Higby never needs any reason to post untrue things about me… this must be number 200 or so so that one’s no surprise at all. I don’t trust the accuracy or the ethics of anything at Mayor Sam, and I don’t know anyone in L.A. politics who does.
Roderick also addressed Ford’s comments that questioned why Roderick called a Times reporter “a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter” while Ford was told the award was “for beat reporting, not investigative reporting.”
The stories that Philips did for his Pulitzer were investigative reporting. That’s his slot and his profile at the Times. There’s nothing about a Pulitzer for beat reporting that conflicts with “investigative reporter.” Eric Longabardi [who told this to Ford] knows this, but he’s actively mad that I don’t link to his website more often. I have dozens of screed emails from him to show for it, unfortunately.
If you still can’t get enough of Kevin Roderick, check out Jeremy Oberstein’s interview with him at LAist.
*UPDATE: The confusion over Chuck Philips may be an issue of semantics – his Pulitzer was indeed for Beat Reporting, while there is a seperate category for Investigative Reporting (which went to the staff of the Miami Herald that year). His award winning beat reporting was for stories “on corruption in the entertainment industry, including a charity sham sponsored by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, illegal detoxification programs for wealthy celebrities, and a resurgence of radio payola,” which sounds like would have been investigative reporting to me. [Details]
Also on the Pulitzer site is a faq on submission guidelines.
Q. How many individuals may be named in a team entry? A. Only three individuals. If more are involved, the entry must be in the name of the newspaper staff of the newspaper.
In Jeremy Obersteins interview, Roderick says, “While I was an editor on the state desk, I participated in helping direct the coverage first of the L.A. riots in 1993 and then the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Those both won staff Pulitzer Prizes.”