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Tiny, family-run Iowa newspaper wins Pulitzer for taking on agriculture companies

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posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 10:09 AM

A small-town Iowa newspaper with a staff of 10 people - most of whom are related to each other – has won a Pulitzer Prize for taking on powerful agricultural companies over farm pollution.

...Cullen’s writing was lauded by the Pulitzer committee for “editorials fuelled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa”.

...“Anyone with eyes and a nose knows in his gut that Iowa has the dirtiest surface water in America,” Cullen wrote in a March 2016 editorial.

...A judge, however, dismissed the water utility’s lawsuit last month, giving the farm groups and counties a clear victory.

Tiny, family-run Iowa newspaper wins Pulitzer for taking on agriculture companies

SPOILER ALERT: Wins Pulitzer; Loses Court case.

A Pulitzer Prize is a big deal. It's a REALLY big deal when your paper's circulation is only 3,000. The Cullen family newspaper won their Pulitzer for covering how agricultural runoff is poisoning and polluting Ohio's water. The main culprit is the nitrogen from fertilizers.

Des Moines Water Works was suing 3 counties for the nitrogen being released through farm drainage systems into drinking water sources. Amongst other things, the Cullens' investigations found that the lawsuit defence funding came from the Farm Bureau and other agricultural groups. Too bad that special interest money killed the lawsuit.

But let's celebrate the small town newspaper Pulitzer Prize!

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 10:22 AM
a reply to: soficrow

Good for the Pulitzer committee! Big Ag has as much if not more to do with destructive environmental practices than big energy and pharma.

We are at a catch 22 though to fix it would leave half the world unfed I suspect. The greed of the industrial revolution set us up for this gigantic conundrum.

We need more real journalists shining the light of truth on practices like this and more people taking up homesteading and perma culture/ biodynamics if there is to be any change.

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 10:29 AM
I'm happy for them, but if people would learn how polluted our land and water is, all over the US, they would freak out.

It is soooo much worse than people realize.

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 10:38 AM
Try getting crop insurance without using Monsanto. For cotton in west texas, you can't. meaning you either use roundup, or you wait till the drought kills your farm and you have to sell it to someone who will use roundup.

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 11:12 AM
Mark one up for the little guy! This could be compared to Rocky fighting Ivan Drenko in Russia.
Hats off to Art & John Cullen, the Storm Lake Times, and their staff for holding fast to true journalism!

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 11:29 AM
Water quality is a huge issue that Noone will tackle due to it affecting the bottom line of the companies that pollute the worst.
Any effect of a company's capital is grounds for a lawsuit.

We have a major problem with this up here in my neck of the woods. People mostly have holding tanks for sewage which means you have to pay to have it pumped out. Many people have been running separate lines from their showers/sinks/clothes washing drains, so it doesn't go into the holding tank. They call it grey water, and don't realize all the detergents and fibers from clothing end up in our rivers/streams/ponds.
Which ultimately ends up killing off the insects and fish and other wildlife that depend on it.
All because they were to cheap to pump their tanks.

Another disgusting trend is people have been dropping utility pumps in their tanks and pumping the "liquids" out into ditches.

It's really time to get laws changed so this stops.

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Great on the paper for doing something the MSM wont touch with a 500' pole...

Great on the committee for recognizing when actual journalism occurs.

posted on Apr, 11 2017 @ 11:56 AM
a reply to: soficrow

I will add something that seems totally related to this thread, but it is....

My brother in central Illinois (next door state to Iowa) recently lost his beloved bird dog to lung cancer. The dog was about five years old, a relatively young dog. The dog had been trained to flush birds in the crop fields before I bro obtained him. The vet was asked as they put the dog down why would a young dog die of lung cancer of all things? The vet said it was not uncommon as these dogs are trained to hunt and spend much of their time with noses inches off of the ground and that causes them to pick up a lot of poisons put on the fields.

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