Last November, I e-mailed David Newhouse, the editor of the Harrisburg Patriot- News. It was a short, badly typed, e-mail. I said that if he didn’t nominate Sara Ganim, formerly of the CDT, for a Pulitzer Prize, “you are a fool.” I received a nice e-mail back from him the next day, thanking me and saying, “We try not to be fools.” Well, Mr. Newhouse is not a fool. Ms. Gamin was nominated, and today, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.1 She has also won a string of awards for her coverage of the Sandusky scandal.
Congratulations to Ms. Ganim, to Mr. Newhouse, and to the Patriot-News (PN). The Sandusky scandal was her story; she broke it last year. She was the first to report on Mr. Sandusky’s indictment last November. It has a tragic story, and one that exposed the “Central Pennsylvania Gothic” side, or underside, of Happy Valley. It was also one that needed to be reported.
Ms. Ganim and the PN took a lot of heat when they broke the story more than a year ago. People were complaining about the damage to Mr. Sandusky’s reputation and his legacy. What is his legacy now? That there was at least enough evidence to charge him with more than fifty crimes against children?
The Sandusky case has intersected with the Ray Gricar case. Ms. Gamin, just yesterday, did an article on the missing former Centre County District Attorney.2 Most of what was reported was known to those of us in the upper echelon of the “chattering class,” though it wasn’t discussed publicly; you’d be surprised who didn’t know some of the details. A few pieces were not. Ms. Gamin, however, got many of the people to speak about Mr. Gricar for the first time, and got more on the record. It was masterful, and she might end up writing the final chapter in the book on the disappearance. For me, that would be more important than a Pulitzer.
Congratulations, Ms. Gamin! Your Pulitzer is well deserved.
Centre Daily Times Ray Gricar Section: http://www.centredaily.com/138/
Link to the Main Index for Sporadic Comments on Ray Gricar: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/21/2597340/main-index-32011.html
E-mail J. J. in Phila at firstname.lastname@example.org