Lane DeGregory’s Pulitizer Prize-winning story of a feral foster child “The Girl in the Window” is, in my estimation, the best written piece of work ever to come from the Tampa Bay Times. That’s saying something considering that the Times is arguably the pound-for-pound best newspaper in the country. “The Girl in the Window” was so powerful that I can remember, as folks from a different generation can pinpoint where they were when they first learned President Kennedy had been shot, exactly where I was when I first read it (hunched over a computer in the Port Jefferson Village library).
I was fortunate enough to re-read the “The Girl in the Window” this week, albeit not for any reason you’d normally suspect. It was because I had been forwarded a press release announcing that Carolyn Eastman had been named the new Communications Director for the Children’s Campaign. In the release, it’s noted that a media story Eastman “developed, researched and brokered to the The Times was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism.” The story the release refers to is “The Girl in the Window.”
“Developed, researched and brokered…” What does that even mean?
As a respected colleague answers, “Whatever it was, we now know that she (Eastman) is the kind of person who talks to reporters for her own aggrandizement and financial gain.
“… Real journalists, with or without Pulitzer Prizes, are unamused. … Lots of people who don’t get paid three and four and five times what social workers and reporters get paid provide tips and information and phone numbers and documents to reporters for altruistic reasons or malevolent reasons or just because they are curious about something.”
I agree with my colleague’s final assessment that “Broker” Eastman has a lot of damn nerve — not to mention the IQ of a head of lettuce — to be claiming an iota of credit for the weeks of blood, sweat, toil and tears that a Lane DeGregory puts into every story.