Seattle Times series on 'The Hutch' was Pulitzer Prize finalist
The series, published March 11-15, 2001, reported that patients died prematurely in two failed clinical trials in the 1980s in which the center and its doctors had a potential financial interest. The patients and their families were not told about those monetary connections, nor were they fully informed about the risks.
The stories, reported by Duff Wilson and David Heath, generated controversy over the past few weeks when Wall Street Journal Assistant Managing Editor Laura Landro, a former Hutch patient and now a patron, wrote an op-ed piece blasting the series as "reckless" and "fundamentally false." The Times stood by the series, as a debate over its merits ensued in the journalism world.
The Pulitzer Prize Board gave the investigative-reporting award to The Washington Post for a series that exposed the District of Columbia's role in the deaths of 229 children placed in protective care.
Other investigative finalists were the Dayton Daily News, for examining ethical issues surrounding the recruiting of foreign athletes for American schools, and The Washington Post, for documenting abuses in the Prince George's County Police Department.
Speaking of the Hutch series, Times Executive Editor Michael Fancher said in a statement, "We are gratified that this important story has been recognized as one of the best works of investigative journalism in the country last year. We're very proud to have published it, and we congratulate The Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize."