Believe ItGAMBIER, Ohio (April 17, 2012)
For John A. Kirkpatrick III '73, the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting won by his staff at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was "an unbelievable moment." Kirkpatrick is the publisher and president of the newspaper.
Reporter Sara Ganim and members of the Patriot-News staff won the award announced on Monday for coverage of the child sexual-abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former football coach at Penn State University. The stories led to the firing of the late Joe Paterno, the iconic Penn State head football coach, and Penn State administrators.
"This is our first Pulitzer ever and it came ... not by luck or it didn't come out just because it was handed to us," Kirkpatrick told the staff. "It came out because of Sara's hard work, the work of other reporters here, the work of other editors here."
The newspaper broke the news that a grand jury was investigating Sandusky with a front-page story in March 2011, and was the first to report in November that prosecutors were filing child sexual-abuse charges against the former defensive coordinator, according to the Associated Press. The newspaper delivered a series of reports regarding the allegations, including stories about the alleged victims and how the case was handled by Penn State and officials with The Second Mile, a charity founded by Sandusky.