Newly minted Pulitzer winners seemed to be everywhere at the recent Scripps Howard Awards’ VIP reception in Cincinnati. I was fortunate to spend time with two of them.
One, Daniel Berehulak of The New York Times, spent weeks last year in the Philippines to chronicle President Duterte’s brutal “war on drugs.” I had been moved by the series when it ran, and it was fascinating to hear Berehulak talk about the experience. His images, like the one below, are graphic, disturbing and beautiful…
The other, Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, impressed me for how unaffected he seemed by all of the Pulitzer hype. He represents the best of so many journalists I have known over the years, grinding out stories every day with the goal of having a positive impact on their community. He landed the story of his career by exposing just how many prescription opioids are pouring into West Virginia (spoiler alert: it’s a lot!).
Eric was kind enough to share more time with me after I returned to Pittsburgh. I featured his work in this month’s media innovation column…
Eric Eyre always thought reporters had to write something like a nine-part series to win a Pulitzer Prize. It turns out all he had to do was keep grinding.
Eyre, 51, figures he writes about 250 stories a year as a statehouse reporter for West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette-Mail newspaper, circulation 37,000. He files a story almost every day, and another for the Sunday edition. Once a month, he works the night cops beat.
A couple of stories Eyre wrote in December changed the pace of his work, for now.