NO SMALL THING: Could Pulitzer be in store for newspaper Lyme series?
The Poughkeepsie Journal’s Lyme series will be submitted for a Pulitzer Prize. Your comments could help.
In August 2012, New York state’s Poughkeepsie Journal began an on-going series of articles about Lyme disease called “No Small Thing,” by investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfeiffer. It is the most comprehensive treatment of the subject ever undertaken by a newspaper.
The reporter delved into such complex and controversial topics as how Lyme disease cases are officially counted (and NOT counted); how difficult it is for Lyme patients to get properly diagnosed and effectively treated; how some doctors who treat Lyme disease are being targeted by medical authorities; how and why testing for Lyme disease is so problematic; how and why medical guidelines regarding Lyme treatment are profoundly flawed; how tick-borne Babesiosis (which can accompany Lyme and complicate its treatment) endangers the nation’s blood supply.
In addition to a series of eight long, meticulously detailed articles, the Poughkeepsie Journal’s website also provides video excerpts of interviews, photos and graphic illustrations, and external links for more information. It is a remarkable body of work and a huge contribution to the understanding of Lyme disease. It should be required reading by health professionals, lawmakers and Lyme patients. And dare I say it? By the Pulitzer Prize Committee, which will take nominations this month. (To my readers in other countries: the Pulitzer Prize is a prestigious award for American newspaper journalists.)
The Poughkeepsie Journal will submit “No Small Thing” for Pulitzer consideration in the next few weeks. You can help matters by sending a brief note to the paper saying why you feel this series is so important and why you feel it deserves a Pulitzer. The Journal may include excerpts of your letters in its submission to the committee. Keep it short, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Pulitzer” in the subject line.
Do it now. Winning a Pulitzer Prize would considerably amplify the reach of this important Lyme series. That would be no small thing, indeed.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for education and outreach. Contact her at email@example.com.