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3:10 p.m. -- Idaho Statesman a 2008 Pulitzer finalist for breaking news

The Idaho Statesman was named a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the Larry Craig scandal that began with his arrest and guilty plea in an airport restroom last August.

This is the first time the Statesman has been a finalist in its 141-year history. The McClatchy Co. has won more than 50 of journalism's most prestigious prize.

The Washington Post won the 2008 Breaking News Reporting award for its coverage of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech. The New York Times was also named a Pulitzer finalist in this category.

The Pulitzers have been awarded since 1917 to reward excellent journalism. Prizes are also awarded to novelists, poets, historians, biographers and more.

About the Statesman

James Reynolds printed the first edition of the Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman on July 26, 1864, in a log hut. He campaigned vigorously for the war against slavery.

Today, with the daily newspaper, the Treasure Valley’s most-read media Web site and a growing number of niche publications, the Statesman reaches more than 276,000 Valley adults each week.

The paper covers communities in Ada and Canyon counties, and devotes the state’s largest group of reporters to the Idaho Legislature. Longtime expert reporters are devoted to outdoor recreation, local music and entertainment, the environment, BSU football and Boise’s growing arts scene.

Columnists Dan Popkey (politics), Pete Zimowsky (outdoors) and Tim Woodward (life in general) have more than 80 years of combined experience writing about Idaho issues.

The Statesman has won the Idaho Press Club’s general excellence award for newspapers in each of the past four years, plus the general excellence award for print-media websites in each of the past three.

The award-winning photography staff is leading the way online, creating online video, audio slideshows and innovative interactive storytelling.

The paper is owned by the McClatchy Co., which traces its own history back to James McClatchy, who helped found the Sacramento Daily Bee in 1857.

About the Pulitzers

Innovative 19th century publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who ran papers including the New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch and died in 1911, created the Pulitzer Prizes in his will.

He sought to recognize excellence in journalism as well as in novel- and playwriting, American history and biography. The first awards were given in 1917.

But Pulitzer created a board to oversee the awards and to keep them vibrant and relevant to the times, and prizes can now be awarded to poetry, music, photography and even online journalism.

The prizes are awarded by the president of Columbia University in New York City, and housed in that college’s School of Journalism. But journalism professionals and others help judge the entries, and the Pulitzer board determines the winners and finalists.

Statesman Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish is finishing her second year in a two-year stint as a juror. This year, Parrish judged investigative reporting.

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