The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting went to InsideClimate News, a 5-year-old web-only nonprofit, for its book-length feature series on the 2010 Enbridge tar-sands oil spill that fouled miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River. InsideClimate has been one of the most aggressive media outlets covering the current spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. ExxonMobil recently threatened one of InsideClimate's reporters with arrest for trying to find a federal government press office handling the spill.
"NEW YORK (AP) — In a sign of a rapidly changing media world, a relatively unknown New York-based online nonprofit news site joined some of the country's most well-known media outlets in claiming a Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in journalism.
InsideClimate News won the Pulitzer Monday for national reporting for its reports on problems in the regulation of the nation's oil pipelines. Founded five years ago, InsideClimateNews reports on energy and the environment. Writers Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemyer were recognized for a project that began with an investigation into a million-gallon spill of Canadian tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The reporters went on to look more broadly at pipeline safety and the particular hazards of a form of oil called diluted bitumen, or "dilbit."
"I think it's a very hopeful sign. I think it really shows the way the journalism ethos reconfigures itself as times change," said Sig Gissler, the administrator of the prizes."