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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Hurricane papers scoop Pulitzers
New Orleans flood
The floods forced one paper to abandon its print works
Two US newspapers from the region hit by Hurricane Katrina have both won Pulitzer journalism prizes for their coverage of the disaster.

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi share the prestigious public service award.

The list of winners of the annual awards were revealed at a ceremony at Columbia University in New York.

Geraldine Brooks won the fiction prize for her book, March.

The book is an imagining of the Civil War experiences of the largely absent father in Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel Little Women.

'Secret prison' scoop

Both the New Orleans and Biloxi newspapers were praised for the depth of their reporting of Katrina which was conducted in the face of severe logistical problems.

The Pulitzer Committee particularly praised the Times-Picayune for its "heroic, multi-faceted coverage" which carried on even though the paper's print works had to be abandoned due to the flood waters.

Public Service: Sun Herald and Times-Picayune - Hurricane Katrina
Investigative: The Washington Post - US lobbyist Jack Abramoff
Explanatory: The Washington Post - democracy in Yemen
Beat reporting: The Washington Post - US counter-terrorism campaign
National: New York Times - domestic eavesdropping
National: San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service - political bribe-taking
International: New York Times - China's legal system
Features: Rocky Mountain News - Iraq war bereavement
Commentary: New York Times - genocide in Darfur
Criticism: The Washington Post - fashion and cultural criticism

The city editor of the Times-Picayune, David Meeks, told the BBC he was delighted with the recognition.

"This is a great day for the paper, obviously we'll never lose sight of the tragedy that spawned this recognition but we're very happy to be honoured this way by our peers," he said.

Pulitzer prize winners each receive $10,000, except in the public service category where a gold medal is awarded.

The Washington Post won four of the journalism Pulitzers up for grabs - its biggest ever haul - including awards for revealing the existence of secret CIA prisons abroad and breaking the US lobbying scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff.

The prize for general non-fiction went to Caroline Elkins for Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya. David M Oshinsky was awarded the history prize for Polio: An American Story.

Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin took the prize for biography for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer, for their study of the US atomic scientist.

The prize for poetry went to Claudia Emerson for Late Wife and Yehudi Wyner took the music prize for Piano Concerto: Chiavi in Mano.

However, Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler said the board has not been able to choose a clear winner in the drama category and therefore decided not to award that prize.

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