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Washington Post Wins Four Awards, Small Va. Daily Wins Public Service Pulitzer

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NEW YORK (AP) The Washington Post received four Pulitzers for international reporting on Iraq, feature writing, commentary and criticism.

The Herald Courier of Bristol, Va., a small paper in the coalfields of Appalachia, beat out journalism's powerhouses to win the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday for uncovering a scandal in which Virginia landowners were deprived of millions in natural gas royalties.

The daily was honored for what many regard as an endangered form of journalism in this age of wrenching newspaper cutbacks aggressive reporting on local issues.

The New York Times won three Pulitzers, one each for national reporting, for explanatory reporting, and for investigative reporting for collaborating with the fledgling news service ProPublica for a story on the life-and-death decisions made by New Orleans doctors during Hurricane Katrina.

The ProPublica prize and an editorial cartooning award for the self-syndicated Mark Fiore, whose work appears on the San Francisco Chronicle Web site SFGate.com represented a victory for new media in a competition long dominated by ink-on-newsprint.

ProPublica, a 2-year-old organization, is bankrolled by charitable foundations, staffed by distinguished veteran journalists, and devoted to doing the kind of big investigative journalism projects many newspapers have found too expensive.

The Pulitzers opened its doors wider in recent years to online-only material. The changes reflect the seismic shifts going on in the industry in the past decade, with readers getting their news online at all hours, in a never-ending news cycle.

Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler said there about 100 online entries from 50 sites this year, up from 65 entries last year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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