'Altered Oceans' Wins Pulitzer Prize
L.A. Times wins Pulitzer Prize for 'Altered Oceans' project
By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
12:10 PM PDT, April 16, 2007
A Los Angeles Times series describing the profound degradation of the world's oceans won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting today, the 38th time the newspaper has been awarded journalism's top honor.
The five-part "Altered Oceans" project, headed by environmental reporter Kenneth R. Weiss, revealed how man has choked the oceans with trash and basic nutrients--killing advanced sea life, making people sick and effectively reversing the course of evolution back toward "the primeval seas of hundreds of millions of years ago."
Reporter Usha Lee McFarling and photographer Rick Loomis teamed with Weiss to create the stories, photo galleries, animated graphics and videos ( posted at latimes.com/oceans ) that evoked a broad and emotional response from citizens and political leaders.
John Vande Wege of latimes.com created the videos that enriched the series, which was overseen by Assistant Metro Editor Frank Clifford and Assistant Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin.
"We cling to this notion that the oceans are too big to change. But it turns out they are not. The oceans are suffering from an accumulation of assaults," said Weiss, a long-time surfer and scuba diver. "We need to be much more careful what we are pulling out of the ocean and what we are dumping into the ocean."