Announced yesterday, the prestigious Pulitzers included the work of a familiar name. Former Daily Advertiser reporter Angie Drobnic Holan, who wrote for Lafayette’s daily paper from 1999 to 2000, is a reporter and researcher for the St. Petersburg Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, an online service that aims to separate truth from fiction in political statements. (There’s even a photo online showing Holan giving a congratulatory hug to PolitiFact founder Bill Adair in the paper's newsroom.)
The St. Petersburg Times also won for reporter Lane DeGregory’s “The Girl
in the Window,” a gut-wrenching narrative describing the journey of a
7-year-old girl found living in a small filthy room to her adoption
into a loving family.
PolitiFact was launched by the Times in 2007, its Truth-O-Meter ruling on the accuracy of hundreds of statements made by politicians (and even anonymous chain e-mails) during the 2008 presidential campaign, according to The Poynter Institute, which owns the paper. The site was relaunched in January with a broader focus on statements made by pundits and opinion makers and a new “Obameter” to track President Barack Obama’s progress on 500 campaign promises.
Reached this morning on her cell phone, an elated Holan says she was taken aback that the unique Web-first site, which often incorporates editorial judgments tinged with humor to determine if someone is telling the truth, would be honored with a Pulitzer. "It was really surprising they would recognize something so new and different," she says.Holan, 36, has worked as a researcher at the St. Petersburg Times since 2005 and has a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining the St. Petersburg paper, she was a researcher at the Tampa Tribune and also worked as a reporter at Mobile, Ala.'s Press-Register from 2000 to 2002. Her mother, Faye Drobnic, lives in Lafayette. "I grew up in Patterson," Holan says, "but when I go home, I go home to Lafayette."
“PolitiFact was born when St. Petersburg Times Washington Bureau Chief Bill Adair called me in very late May with an idea he had. He wanted to take the ‘truth squad’ idea and expand it. And he wondered if we could somehow use databases with this idea. He didn’t know how we could do that, just that we should, and that was why he was calling me. I was knee deep in learning Django, the rapid development Web framework, and immediately knew we could use Django to make this happen. Based on our conversation, I quick sketched out a series of related tables -- models in Django parlance -- and PolitiFact was born.”Poynter also reports that PolitiFact, which has its own theme song, is one of the first Web sites to be honored by the Pulitzers, which began considering online work in 2006.
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 15, 2014:
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.
Easy crafts in time for Easter
The Cane Fire Film Series presents “The Great Flood” on Monday, April 14, at the AcA.