News 8, WMTW.com Receives Edward R. Murrow Awards wmtw.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
LA Times wins Pulitzer for exposing big salaries in.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Jennifer Egan wins ﬁction Pulitzer heraldextra.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
April 26, 2011
Anne Newport Royall would have loved this story.
For the first time in the Pulitzers' 95-year history no award was given in the category of breaking news, but The Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer Prize for public service by revealing that politicians in the small, working-class city of Bell California were paying themselves six figure salaries and raising property taxes and other fees to cover it.
All of which led to arrests and the ouster of some of Bell's top officials.
So who was Anne Royall?
By all accounts, she was America's first woman journalist, America's first muckraking journalist, a holy terror, feared by entire towns, governments, organized and disorganized religion, and anyone who got in her way.
She grew up in the mountains of western Virginia and married American Revolution major William Royall, whose death in 1812 touched off some nastiness between Anne and Royall's relatives.
The upshot was she was left without much in the way of resources, wandered the country for years, wrote some books, and eventually wound up in Washington D.C. to petition for a federal pension.
Since, as the widow of a veteran, she had to plead her case before Congress.
Not satisfied with the results, she ambushed President John Quincy Adams, taking one of his usual early morning baths in the Potomac, and sat on his clothes until he answered her questions.
It marked the first presidential interview ever granted to a woman.
Wanting to get her views out to a wider audience, she started the newspaper Paul Pry, which exposed political corruption, fraud and took religion on head on.
After objecting strenuously to a federal building that was turned into a church, she was charged with being a "public nuisance, a common brawler and a common scold" for which she was fined $10.
She continued to take on religion, graft in the Washington bureaucracy and in one story uncovered a clerk of the House of Representatives, who was payroll padding and practicing nepotism.
No, she was not an easy person to like; she was tough and stubborn, would stop at nothing to dig up some dirt.
But then, as recently demonstrated by the LA Times, we need all the stubborn, muckrakers we can find.
Women in Harm's Way newsweek.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
History of Journalism in America shmoop.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
History of Pulitzer Prize pulitzer.org Take a look at an interesting article we found.