STATEMENT FROM THE 2015 AWARDS JURY: When you think of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, you think of Watergate. You think of the Pentagon Papers. You think of exposés on corporate malfeasance or war crimes or police brutality. But that's because you're old, and also boring. And that's why the Pulitzer Prize committee is proud to announce its entrance into the modern age of journalism with the Pulitzer Plus Prize. Through a partnership with Buzzfeed.com, we've created a new set of standards for excellence in reportage, including virality, stickiness, and overall hotness. And while we expected to be giving our first awards to memes, supercuts, and slideshows, we were pleased to find this year's most deserving entry in a decidedly old-school format: local TV news. From San Diego, no less! Maybe Ron Burgundy knew something we don't.
"Anyway, the men and women of Team 10 really created something special with their report on Poway teen Liv Lake's Playboy-themed 18th birthday party. You had the police busting underage drinking in a wealthy, heavily white neighborhood, which is an excellent foundation. Everybody loves the downfall of privileged youth in revolt. You had teen babes in lingerie, which we don't need to explain. (Special kudos to 10News reporter Allison Ash for hitting up Lake's Instagram account before it went dark and pulling some juicy content, including the award-clinching shot of the hostess posing as a cross between Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and one of his models.) And perhaps best of all, you had the fact that the father charged with violation of the social-host law is a pro-marijuana attorney. Basically, the teenager of the legal world. It's no wonder that this tiny story from the suburbs got picked up by outlets ranging from Gawker to England's Daily Mail to the animation overlords at ToMoNews. Congratulations, 10News!"