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3 for Philadelphia Inquirer : Times Wins 2 Pulitzers for Foreign Reports, Criticism

April 17, 1987|JOHN J. GOLDMAN | Times Staff Writer

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

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

It was the third time in six years that The Times has won in the criticism category.

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. When you sit all day in a room reading books, it's lovely to have the outside world bursting in with good news."

Parks, notified by telephone in South Africa, said: "I am delighted, excited and stunned. I am happy for the paper and for all my colleagues on the foreign staff."

The jury that selected Parks considered a broad variety of his stories, including the declaration of emergency by the South African government, the turmoil within South Africa's black community and the impact on South African blacks of announced government reforms.

The Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service was awarded to the Pittsburgh Press for articles disclosing the inadequacy of the Federal Aviation Administration's medical screening of airline pilots. The series by Andrew Schneider and Matthew Brelis "led to significant reforms," the Pulitzer Prize Board said. Schneider shared a Pulitzer Prize last year for specialized reporting.

In an unusual award, four Philadelphia Inquirer reporters shared two 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.

National Reporting

Two prizes also were awarded in the national reporting category. One went to the New York Times staff 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 other was awarded to the Miami Herald's staff for its "exclusive reporting and persistent coverage" of the Iran- contra connection.

Specialized Reporting

The other Pulitzer won by the New York Times 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 of national issues."

Berke Breathed, also of the Washington Post Writers Group, a syndicate, won the editorial cartooning award.

In non-journalistic prizes, the award for fiction was given to Peter Taylor for his book "A Summons to Memphis," which deals with memory and change in the Deep South as seen through the eyes of an aging intellectual. The drama prize went to August Wilson for his play "Fences," dealing with the breakup of a black working-class family in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression.

Prize for History

Bernard Bailyn, Winthrop professor of history at Harvard, won the prize for history for his book, "Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution." The work is the first in a series of books focusing on the first English settlers in America.

The biography award went to David J. Garrow, an associate political science professor at the City College of New York, for his portrait of the slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Garrow's book, "Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference," also received a 1987 Robert F. Kennedy Award. It is his third book about King.

David K. Shipler, a correspondent for the New York Times, 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, who teaches at Arizona State University, for her work "Thomas and Beulah." The volume of lyric poems details the move of a black family in the Great Depression from rural Alabama to Akron, Ohio.

Harbison Wins Award

The music award went to John Harbison for "The Flight Into Egypt," which had its premiere last November by the Cantata Singers and Ensemble at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Harbison, who has conducted many orchestral and chamber ensembles including the San Francisco, Boston and Pittsburgh symphonies, is currently composer in residence with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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

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