The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Explanatory Reporting

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For a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Michael Moss and members of The New York Times Staff for relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues that, in print and online, spotlighted defects in federal regulation and led to improved practices. (Moved by the Board from the Investigative Reporting category.)


Michael Moss

Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University (left), presents the 2010 Explanatory Reporting prize to Michael Moss of The New York Times.


Nominated as finalists in this category were: Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his path-breaking coverage of how invasive aquatic creatures have disrupted the ecosystem of the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, illuminating the science and politics of an important national issue; Kirsten Grind, Jeanne Lang Jones and Alwyn Scott of the Puget Sound (Wash.) Business Journal, a weekly, for their meticulous examination of the collapse of Washington Mutual, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history, plumbing causes and raising troubling questions about federal regulation; and The New York Times Staff, and notably Gina Kolata, for their exploration of the lack of progress in the 40-year war on cancer, combining explanation of scientific complexity and the exposure of myths with an empathetic portrayal of the human suffering caused by the disease.