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L.A. Times Wins Two Pulitzers : South Africa Reporter, Book Critic Honored

April 16, 1987|JOHN GOLDMAN | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Times won two Pulitzer Prizes today for international reporting and criticism. Other multiple winners included the Philadelphia Inquirer with three awards, the New York Times with two and the Washington Post Writers Group with two.

In naming Michael Parks of the Los Angeles Times the winner for International Reporting the jurors praised "his balance and comprehensive coverage of South Africa." Richard Eder, the other winner from The Times, was praised for "distinguished criticism . . . for his book reviews."

At his office in Boston, Eder, who also won the reviewing prize of the National Book Critics Circle for 1986, said "I am very pleased and temporarily without words."

In an unusual award, four Philadelphia Inquirer reporters shared two Pulitzer Prizes in the Investigative Reporting category--for an expose of the Philadelphia court system and for outstanding prison beat reporting, which included proving innocent a man convicted of murder.

FAA Medical Screening

The prize for Meritorious Public Service was awarded to the Pittsburgh Press for articles revealing the inadequacy of the Federal Aviation Administration's medical screening of airline pilots.

Two prizes also were awarded in the national reporting category, one to the New York Times for its coverage of the aftermath of the Challenger explosion, which identified flaws in the design of the space shuttle and the administration of the space program. The Miami Herald staff was given a national reporting award for its "exclusive and persistent coverage" of the Iran- contra affair.

The other New York Times Pulitzer went to Alex S. Jones for specialized reporting. The jurors praised Jones' article detailing the sale of the Louisville Courier-Journal as a "skillful and sensitive report of a powerful newspaper family's bickering and how it led to the sale of a famed media empire." Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post Writers Group won the Commentary Award "for his witty and insightful columns on national issues."

Berk Breathed also of the Washington Post Writers Group won the editorial cartooning award.

Non-Journalistic Awards

In non-journalistic prizes the award for fiction was given to Peter Taylor for his book "A Summons to Memphis." The drama prize went to August Wilson for his play "Fences." The biography award went to David J. Garrow for his biography of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., "Bearing the Cross". David K. Shipler won the nonfiction award for his book examining Mideast tensions--"Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land."

The poetry prize was given to Rita Dove for her work "Thomas and Beulah". The music award went to John Harbison for "The Flight Into Egypt" which had its premiere performance last November by the Cantata Singers and Ensemble at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The 71st annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music were announced at Columbia University in New York City.

In the journalism category the staff of the Akron Beacon Journal won the general news reporting prize for its coverage under deadline pressure of the attempted takeover of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. by a European financier.

Life Aboard Carrier

The award for feature writing went to the Inquirer's Steve Twomey for "his illuminating profile of life aboard an aircraft carrier." Barry Bearak, Miami bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times also was a finalist for "three gracefully written stories dealing respectively with a prison lawsuit, a family murder and an aging stand-up comic."

Jeff Lyon and Peter Gorner of the Chicago Tribune won the Explanatory Journalism Prize for their series examining the implications of gene therapy as a revolutionary medical treatment.

The Editorial Writing prize was given to Jonathan Freedman of the San Diego Tribune for his editorials urging passage of the first major immigration reform act in 34 years.

In the photography category Kim Komenich of the San Francisco Examiner won the spot news award for his photographic coverage of the fall of Ferdinand E. Marcos. One of the finalists in this category was Bernie Boston of the Los Angeles Times for his photo of Coretta Scott King at the unveiling of a bronze bust of her late husband in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. The feature photo prize was given to David Peterson of the Des Moines Register for his picture depicting the shattered dreams of American farmers.

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