Edmund Fountain, a 2003 graduate of the photojournalism program in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, was among the finalists of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism.
Fountain, a photographer at the St. Petersburg Times, in St. Petersburg, Fla., was selected as a finalist in the local reporting category. The Pulitzer Prize Board recognized Fountain, along with staff reporters Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore, for their “dogged reporting and searing storytelling that illuminated decades of abuse at a Florida reform school for boys and sparked remedial action.”
The team began working on the stories about abuse at the Florida School for Boys in October 2008. The series, “For Their Own Good,” ran for nine months starting in April 2009.
“Most photojournalists work with things happening in the present: political campaigns, conflict, sports and breaking news,” says Fountain. “This was a huge departure from anything like that because this happened years ago, much of it before I was even born. This made photography very difficult, though not impossible. Even though it was difficult, I felt like I was bringing the victims a sort of justice and closure by sharing their story with my community and that was hugely rewarding.”
Fountain started as an intern at the St. Petersburg Times in the fall of 2004. In addition to his Pulitzer recognition, the investigative series won the team the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma 2010 Award for excellence in coverage of trauma. The Dart Center is a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which offers advice, resources and workshops to journalists and photojournalists on how to sensitively cover stories and victims of violence.
To read the series “For Their Own Good” and view Fountain’s photos visit www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna/
To see a complete list of the Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, visit www.pulitzer.org/awards/2010.