April 9th, 2008
A Pulitzer ain’t half-bad, my friend: online politics reporter Jose Antonio Vargas joined a distinguished list of Post reporters hit with Pulitzer prizes this week. He’s one of several reporters cited for work on last year’s Virginia Tech shootings, and he owes his part of the prize in part to Facebook: as he said yesterday,
I wrote two of the nine articles in the breaking news entry; the first was an eyewitness account (penned with another reporter) that ran on the front page, the second was a feature on how students used the Web to console each other. And it was all because of luck — and Facebook. On the day of the shooting, less than three hours after the rampage, I landed a phone interview with Trey Perkins, who sat in the back of Room 207 when shooter Seung Hui Cho barged in. I found Trey on Facebook, friended him, chatted with him on AIM and convinced him to talk to me on the phone. It ended up being the key interview of the day.
A little luck, and a lot of initiative. Congratulations!