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Reporter, laid off by U-T, wins Pulitzer Prize

Story was edited by ex-U-Ter who was an editor in two previous Pulitzer winners

David Hasemyer, who was laid off by the Union-Tribune in one of its several pogroms, is one of three reporters winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, according to an announcement today (April 15). The other reporters are Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song. The three won the prize for "The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of." It was an investigation into a spill of Canadian tar sands oil. The series broadened into pipeline safety issues. It was published by "Inside Climate News," a publication covering clean, carbon and nuclear energy, and environmental issues. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Inside Climate is based in Brooklyn. The editor of the prize-winning piece was San Diegan Susan White, who took a buyout at the Union-Tribune. White had been one of the editors of the Pulitzer-winning U-T expose of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and also one of the editors of another Pulitzer winner by Pro Publica. Thanks to Matt Potter for alerting me to this story.

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David Hasemyer, who was laid off by the Union-Tribune in one of its several pogroms, is one of three reporters winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, according to an announcement today (April 15). The other reporters are Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song. The three won the prize for "The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of." It was an investigation into a spill of Canadian tar sands oil. The series broadened into pipeline safety issues. It was published by "Inside Climate News," a publication covering clean, carbon and nuclear energy, and environmental issues. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Inside Climate is based in Brooklyn. The editor of the prize-winning piece was San Diegan Susan White, who took a buyout at the Union-Tribune. White had been one of the editors of the Pulitzer-winning U-T expose of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and also one of the editors of another Pulitzer winner by Pro Publica. Thanks to Matt Potter for alerting me to this story.

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I wonder how Dougie and Johnnie will explain this one, if they are asked. I do assume that those two departed during the Platinum days, or even in the waning days of the Copley Press. The slash and burn has been going on at the UT for a long time now.

April 15, 2013

Visduh: Before I posted this, I tried to find out when Hasemyer had been laid off. I think it was during the Platinum reign, but I am not sure so didn't post it. Susan White took a buyout. I talked with her but forgot to ask her under which regime she left. Best, Don Bauder

April 15, 2013

Don, I believe it was in August of '09, which does place it in the Platinum Purgeathon.

April 16, 2013

Duhbya: I will take your word for it. My understanding is that Hasemyer had no forewarning of the axing. He should have realized that under the Copley, Platinum and Manchester regimes, those who are good -- who cover the news honestly and extra-competently -- have always been the most vulnerable. Best, Don Bauder

April 16, 2013

Is the Union Tribune still in the news business? I thought they had changed their venue to PR.

The good old days, ah, the good old days!

April 15, 2013

anniej: Yes, Hasemyer was an excellent investigative reporter for the U-T, and Susan White was a first-rate editor. They both deserve their honors. And you are correct: in covering both business and the military, in particular, the U-T is now merely a public relations machine. Its hawking of its owner's view is not just manifest on the editorial page; it is manifest throughout the paper. Best, Don Bauder

April 15, 2013

I'm glad to hear someone left the UT to start a career in journalism, perhaps someone will leave the DA's office to start a career in law. Investigative reporting in San Diego resembles boar hunting on a hog farm.

April 16, 2013

Psycholizard: Hold on. I think some Reader reporters do a very good job in investigative reporting. Best, Don Bauder

April 16, 2013

Actually, some of the Watchdog efforts have been good. And they have exceeded my expectations, which were low-to-non-existent. But the Watchdog staff doesn't go after any of the sacred cows in the Dougie/Johnnie regime. So, from time to time, the Mill does a good job of rooting out corruption and double-dealing. Other times, it ignores flagrant abuses.

April 16, 2013

Don Bauder, First I would take issue of your use of the word pogrom. I know many people who would be offense by your usage. Second, your title is misleading, purposefully so, IMHO. If said reporter was laid off some time ago, such as in 2009, I think a more appropriate title would have used the word former, as in Former Reporter, laid off by U-T, wins Pulitzer Prize. As written, it reads as if the reporter wrote the Pulitzer winning story while employed by the U-T. But I think you know that.

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary.

April 16, 2013

tomjohnston: I even used to use the word "pogrom" to describe mass layoffs when I was a columnist at the U-T, and editors didn't complain, at least to my face. You may have a beef about a headline -- any headline -- but I am sure you realize we have only so many words. Best, Don Bauder

April 16, 2013

"I am sure you realize we have only so many words" Yeah, I have read many, many stories in the Reader that have both more words and longer titles than this one. Your answer is a total cop-out, which was expected.

April 16, 2013

tomjohnston: I write columns that are 1000 words or fewer, and write blog items that might be only one paragraph. The item under discussion was the latter. Actually, I thought the headline, for which I take total blame or credit, was a good one. You didn't agree. I welcome your disagreement. Best, Don Bauder

April 16, 2013

I mean no disrespect to local reporters, and the work is not as easy as my comic simile, but Randy Cunningham was living in a Rancho Santa Fe mansion before the UT tripped over his crimes. So often the UT wholeheartedly supported candidates, such as Cunningham, who were always drunken stooges of the big money, even before their crimes became too obvious to ignore. I commend those who did good work at the UT in spite of their management, a place where the truth sets you free, from employment.

April 16, 2013

Psycholizard: Great line: the truth sets you free -- from employment. Many former U-Ters will understand that only too well. Best, Don Bauder

April 16, 2013
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