Cartoonist Mark Fiore was named this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The judges noted "his biting wit, extensive
research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for
an emerging form of commentary."
The choice is also notable in that Fiore is the first to win journalism's highest award by submitting solely online animations.
Also nominated as finalists this year were Tony Auth of The Philadelphia
Inquirer for "his masterful simplicity in expressing consistently
fearless positions on national and local issues," and Matt Wuerker of
Politico for "his broad portfolio that encompasses the nation’s historic
political year, using rich artistry, wry humor and sometimes animation
to drive home his deft satire."
While Fiore is self syndicated, with his work appearing on dozens of
sites, the award — which also comes with a $10,000 prize — was given for the cartoons that appearing on
San Francisco Chronicle Web site. SFGate.com noted that it is the first time since the category of editorial cartooning was
created in 1922 that the Pulitzer has gone to an artist whose work does
not appear in print.
The Pulitzer selection committee had previously made note of Walt Handelsman's animated work in awarding him the Pulitzer in 2007, though in combination with his print work.
Fiore threw himself into animation full-time after leaving a staff cartoonist job at the San Jose Mercury News in 2001. He was presented with the Online Journalism Award for commentary in 2002, and the NCS's New Media Award several years running.