Tiny, family-run Iowa newspaper wins Pulitzer for taking on agriculture companies
Art Cullen owns the 3,000 -circulation Storm Lake Times with his brother John. His wife and son too work at the paper
A small-town Iowa newspaper with a staff members of 10 people – most of whom are related to each other has won a Pulitzer Prize for taking on powerful agricultural fellowships over raise pollution.
Art Cullen, who owns the Storm Lake Timeswith his brother John, recognise it wasnt easy taking on agriculture in a state like Iowa where you encounter hundreds of miles of raise realms in all directions. The Cullens lost a few friends and a few advertisers, but never disbelieved they were doing the right thing.
Were now to request peoples suppositions and I think thats what every good newspaper should do, he said.
Among the other staff members at the Storm Lake Times is John Cullens wife Mary, Arts wife Dolores and their son, Tom. The house hound, Mabel too hangs out at the newspaper places most of the time, Poynter reports.
Cullens writing was lauded by the Pulitzer committee for editorials fuelled by tenacious reporting, superb expertise and engaging writing that successfully invited powerful corporate agricultural stakes in Iowa.
As well as hard-hitting word and editorials, the paper also includes neighbourhood narratives. On Monday, a front-page legend told to seeing how a second-grader attained a four-leaf clover in the fields behind her clas.
Cullen told the Washington Post that he knows what books like. We strive to have a baby, a hound, a shell and a clang on every figurehead page, so, yes, we do pander, he said.
But it was the working paper dogged coverage of farming issues affecting the state that won them the coveted journalism prize.
Buena Vista county, where the 3,000 -circulation, twice-weekly newspaper is based in north-west Iowa, was one of three counties sued by Des Moines Water Works for allowing too much nitrogen to be released through raise sewage systems into flows from which the utility draws its clean drinking water. The counties campaigned the federal lawsuit abusing fund delivered by undisclosed sources.
The newspaper worked with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council to make the exhaust of documents demonstrating money received from the Farm Bureau and other agricultural radicals.
Anyone with gazes and a nose knows in his gut that Iowa has the dirtiest surface waters in America, Cullen wrote in a March 2016 editorial.
It is suffocating the waterworks and the Gulf of Mexico. It is beginning oxygen distres in Northwest Iowa glacial pools. It has caused us to expend millions upon millions trying to clean up Storm Lake, the victim of more than a century of explosive soil erosion.
Cullen, 59, says he seeks vindicated that the information was released.
A adjudicator, nonetheless, dismissed the liquid utilitys lawsuit last month, handing “the farmers ” the organizations and counties a clear succes.
Cullen is proud that the Pulitzer committee recognised his small newspapers struggles alongside those of bigger newspapers. The two other finalists in the editorial writing list is coming from the Houston Chronicle and The Washington Post.
Weve always believed that the Storm Lakes Times should be as good at extending Storm Lake as the New York Times is at extending New York, he said. Theres no reason why an editorial writes to Iowa shouldnt be as good as an editorial writes to Washington.
Associated Press contributed to this report