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UW-Madison graduate Anthony Shadid wins Pulitzer Prize

April 12, 2010 By Stacy Forster

A University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnus has earned a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism, for his reporting from the Middle East on the legacy of the war in Iraq.

It was the second Pulitzer Prize for Anthony Shadid, who in 1990 earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science at UW–Madison, where he also studied Arabic. Shadid earned a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2004 for his coverage from Iraq during and after the U.S. invasion in March 2003, and he was a finalist in 2007.

“Anthony brings to his work all the marks of outstanding journalism,” says Greg Downey, director of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication. “His stories give voice to people and cultures while untangling the complexities of conflict. We are proud to see his thorough reporting and masterful writing earn this important recognition.”

Now a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Shadid’s award honors stories he wrote as a reporter for the Washington Post. Pulitzer judges recognized Shadid “for his rich, beautifully written series on Iraq as the United States departs and its people and leaders struggle to deal with the legacy of war and to shape the nation’s future.”

Before joining the Washington Post, Shadid reported from the Middle East for the Boston Globe. He was also news editor of the Los Angeles bureau of The Associated Press and worked as a Middle East correspondent for the AP in Cairo from 1995 to 1999.

His assignments often carry risk, and in March 2002, Shadid was shot in the shoulder while covering fighting in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Shortly afterward, he returned to Madison to accept the journalism school’s Ralph O. Nafziger Award, honoring achievements by young alumni. In 2005, the Wisconsin Alumni Association honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.

Shadid serves on the advisory board for the journalism school’s Center for Journalism Ethics and plans to return to campus in fall to deliver the center’s inaugural ethics lecture on the topic of media and religion.

“Shadid is not only a tremendous journalist, writing deeply on difficult subjects, he is also an inspiration to our students who see in his work the possibility of doing journalism that matters,” says Stephen J.A. Ward, the center’s director.

Currently based in Baghdad for the New York Times, Shadid is also the author of two books, including “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War.”

The awards are given by Columbia University on the recommendation of the Pulitzer board, which considers nominations from jurors in each category. For information, visit