Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pulitzer Prize winner to be writer in residence

David T. Barstow, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, will be on campus from Sunday, November 1, through Thursday, November 5, as the fall public affairs writer in residence. He will eat dinner with a small group of La Follette School students.

Barstow has been an investigative reporter for The New York Times since May 2002. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Message Machine," two articles that exposed a covert Pentagon campaign to use retired military officers, working as analysts for television and radio networks, to reiterate administration "talking points" about the war on terror. Barstow also received the Society for Professional Journalism's 2008 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Washington Correspondence for the series, as well as the George Polk National Reporting award.

Barstow joined The Times in 199. He covered the presidential election in 2000, particularly the Florida recount, and wrote extensively about financial aid for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. In April 2009, articles by Barstow and Lowell Bergman, which examined death and injury among American workers and exposed employers who break basic safety rules, were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

Barstow worked for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida beginning in 1990, reporting on a range of issues. While there, he was a finalist for three Pulitzer Prizes: in 1997, he was the lead writer for coverage of race riots and was a finalist for spot news reporting; in 1998, he helped lead coverage of financial wrongdoing at the National Baptist Convention and was a finalist for investigative reporting; and, that same year, he wrote a series of stories about tobacco litigation and was a finalist for explanatory journalism.

Before joining The St. Petersburg Times, Barstow was a reporter for The Rochester Times-Union in upstate New York.

In 2002 and 2003, Barstow reported extensively on workplace safety in America, leading a team of journalists that produced two series for The Times and an hourlong documentary for the PBS program "Frontline." The two series, "Dangerous Business" and "When Workers Die,'' won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2004. The two series and the documentary were also recognized with a George Polk Award for labor reporting; the Goldsmith Award for investigative reporting; the duPont Silver Baton, an award long regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of television reporting; a Peabody Award; and a certificate from Investigative Reporters and Editors.