(770) 765-3478 [email protected]

Beyond the Battlefield, David Wood (image www.mediabistro.com)

Updated: April 17, 2012 9:42 a.m.

The Huffington Post—and digital media—has won its first Pulitzer Prize. The award went to David Wood, in the category of national reporting, it was announced Monday by Columbia University, which administers the prizes.

A longtime print journalist who did stints at Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Wood was praised for his “riveting exploration of the physical and emotional challenges facing American soldiers severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan during a decade of war.”

The award was a breakthrough for The Huffington Post, and for AOL, which acquired the massive news site last year as part of a risky, if not desperate attempt to turn itself into a major player in the content business.

The Huffington Post is the first commercially run, native digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer, which is generally considered the highest honor in journalism.

“It’s a big breakthrough,” said Dean Starkman, an editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, which has no connection to the prizes. Noting that the nonprofit investigative news site ProPublica.org won Pulitzers in 2010 and 2011, he added that it made a difference that the Huffington Post has had to manage as a business.

“They did quality work while earning their daily bread,” he said.

Politico, a web publication with a print component, also won its first Pulitzer, for the political cartoons of Matt Wuerker. The Pulitzer committee described them as “especially memorable for lampooning the partisan conflict that engulfed Washington.”

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120416/MEDIA_ENTERTAINMENT/120419908#ixzz1sPg6dq00