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Miami Herald’s Pulitzer wins prove journalism matters — always has, always will

The Miami Herald Editorial Board

Editorial Cartoonist Jim Morin reacts to winning the Pulitzer Prize

Miami Herald Editorial Cartoonist Jim Morin reacts to the announcement that he won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.
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Miami Herald Editorial Cartoonist Jim Morin reacts to the announcement that he won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

We don’t fake it.

The Miami Herald news pages traffic only in the truth. The opinion pages present well-grounded, fact-based commentary, either confrontational or comforting depending upon where readers fall.

That’s right, we’re bragging — after snagging two Pulitzer Prizes. The 101st edition of the most prestigious award for journalism, fiction and nonfiction writing, commentary, and more — was announced on Monday, and the Miami Herald won much-deserved recognition — twice.

The Miami Herald, which worked along with McClatchy and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism, was awarded the Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting for its deep dive into the “Panama Papers.” The series of stories was a collaboration of over 300 reporters on six continents who threw back the covers on the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. A Panama City-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, was the rotten core.

It was a powerful piece of work that got results: Investigations were launched, fines levied, resignations tendered and reforms put in place.

And the Herald’s editorial cartoonist, Jim Morin, became a member of an exclusive club by being honored twice in his 38-year career at the newspaper. His 1996 Pulitzer win was followed up by his victory Monday “for editorial cartoons that delivered sharp perspectives through flawless artistry, biting prose and crisp wit.” The judges got it right on all three scores, omitting only that he’s a really nice guy, too.

As Morin said about his creative process in a Facebook Live interview with his colleagues on the Editorial Board: “It’s sort of like a bunch of people sitting at a bar talking: ‘Can you believe this thing that happened ?!” There’s always the same thing that everyone is talking about and that’s where cartoonists end up.”

“I want to determine how you feel about it and I want to be as literal in the cartoon about it as I possibly can.”

At a time when people — even a president — too easily dismiss the hard work of journalists as “fake,” it's important to recognize and celebrate excellence in journalism that speaks truth to power.

Let’s be honest: There’s no alternative to the facts.

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