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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.