Letters about the Pulitzer Prize

Congratulations and sincere thanks for the work you are doing to make the world a better, safer place. The quality of food, air and water is so important, we cannot allow money, greed, stupidity and ignorance to damage any of them. Anyone who bravely takes on what Molly Ivens used to call ‘big bidness’ on behalf of the rest of us deserves all the praise and thanks we can give. Good on you, guys – we could do with many, many more like you.  Long may you prosper and keep up the good work.


London, Ontario, Canada


I just want to send a quick, but most sincere note of congratulations to Art Cullen for his Pulitzer! I read about Mr. Cullen’s recent award in our local Cedar Rapids Gazette today. With both a son and a brother living in Des Moines, the water issue is of particular interest to me. Certainly as a resident of Iowa, we should all be concerned, regardless of where we live. 

It is absolutely fantastic that Mr. Cullen was recognized and awarded this honor. I have no doubt that his editorials ruffled some very prominent feathers in Big Agri Industry. Good for him. Good for all of you who assisted in his success. Good for honest journalism. 

I came out of an educational background many years ago where solid investigative journalism meant something. I respect it. I value it. Journalists today deserve recognition and should be valued, especially those who write for our smaller town/regional publications where the risk of personal fallout sometimes is the most direct. 

Please extend my thanks and congratulations to Mr. Cullen. 


Cedar Rapids


Even in a small town called Fermoy, in County Cork, Ireland we have heard of your well deserved win of the Pulitzer prize.


We are a family run News store, over 43 years in business, still strong, with a special place in our hearts and store, for local newspapers.

Well done again!


Managing Director, Hanleys Newsagents


We hate to rain on your parade, buddy; but, your award does not surprise many of us, at all. We peasants, out here in the boonies, collectively yawn and muse, what else is new? We couldn’t be happier for you and your gang. You are deserving, and yes, we are proud of you.




Please allow me to congratulate you on your Pulitzer Prize and on the fine work you have done to deserve it.

I myself edited a farm magazine in California in the ‘80s, and I remember full well how cautiously one had to tread to avoid offending the agribusiness powers-that-be. I believe we did a good job—for example, promoting organic farming to a mainstream agriculture that in those days did not want to have any truck with such things.

I myself ended up resigning over a blowup about a story we ran. It was about an illegal use of growth regulant in the table-grape industry.

I can imagine, at least dimly, the pressures that you have no doubt been subjected to and congratulate you on your courage.


Editor, Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton, Ill.


Congratulations to Art Cullen, and with assistance from his son Tom, in winning the most coveted award in journalism — the Pulitzer Prize for his investigative editorial series on agricultural corporate interests and funding in Iowa.

Truly a monumental achievement capping a long distinguished career in journalism and the newspaper business.  

It was almost 50 years ago when I first met Art, known as Jerry at that time. He was a tall skinny 10-year-old, who started to grill me on who I voted for in the 1968 election, whether I was a Democrat or Republican, and loads of follow-up political questions. I didn’t know what to think, after awhile I was speechless. The thought occurred to me to cuff the kid into the next county, but thought better of that because I was interested in his 20-year-old sister.

So it was not terribly surprising to me that this investigative pit bull won the Pulitzer Prize almost five decades later.

Well done, Art. The only question at this point is whether he will wear his bib overalls or a new suit at the award ceremony in New York.


Omaha, Neb.


Congratulations to all of you. Sticking it to the big guys is a time-honored tradition that should not be allowed to die. Over here, at the southern tip of Africa, the fight for a corruption-free government is hotting up nicely! 


Cape Town, South Africa 


What can any of us former northwestern Iowans say. Your Pulitzer was so so well deserved. Your editorials read like the real Iowa I once knew and were brave and smart. If the Raccoon is ever cleaned up you should take a big bow.

I am a retired New York Times reporter who covered agriculture at the paper for a while and did a piece on the polluted Raccoon in 2002, writing out of Dedham. A single effort but I wanted to show you that  the subject is so very dear to my heart and any other Iowan that has seen their rivers and lakes polluted with impunity. 

I yelled with happiness at your prize today. Your editorial campaign is a model. Carry on. Iowa needs you. 



Congrats to Art Cullen and all at the Storm Lake Times. I just saw the staff list and thought my surname qualifies me for a job, lol. I do have the CV to match. I’m a Cullen from Donegal in Ireland (also a journalist). I heard Art on BBC radio talking about his Irish heritage yesterday. I wondered just where are your roots in Ireland? Art does seem to bear a resemblance to my uncle Cathal, you just never know. Cheers on the well-deserved win, once again.


Donegal, Ireland


Wow! I just found out about your Pulitzer Prize. I am flabbergasted and incredibly happy for you all. Little did I know that whilst living in Storm Lake and going to St. Mary’s in the 1960s that I was in the same building as a future Pulitzer Prize winner and two people destined to change not only their local area, but with a such wide reaching impact you have changed much more.

You are to be congratulated more than I can put into words. I’m ecstatic, proud of Storm Lake, and amazed at what you have all done to make Storm Lake, BV County, and all of Iowa a better and more informed place. To say that you earned this prize is an understatement. You are in a town of around 11,000 people (so I hear) and you have made the impossible, possible. I cannot put into words the joy I am feeling for you all right now.

Congratulations, kudos, hip-hip, and all that rot.


SMHS Class of 1969


I want to congratulate you and the entire Storm Lake Times staff on being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. Your paper does a fine job of keeping local citizens apprised of important issues. I am pleased that your work has been recognized at other levels as well. Your paper often sings the praises of Storm Lake. Now it is our turn to sing your praises. Congratulations!


Storm Lake


I read the article on your Pulitzer Prize in the Minnesota Public Radio website.

Congratulations and thank you for speaking truth to power.

Your editorials on big ag and the pollution of the Raccoon River and all the downstream rivers are accurate even though the powers that be may be disputing it.

Our modern way of life will not survive until we have the agricultural community on board with a comprehensive clean water program. It really is that simple.

Thanks again


Schererville, Ind.


Congratulations on the well-earned Pulitzer Prize!

My wife is the former Debra Imming from Fonda and we are very familiar with the community of Storm Lake, and think it's cool that you have such a quality news product for your readers in that region.

I worked at the Mason City Globe-Gazette in 1989-90 as assistant sports editor with Tom Thoma, Bob Fenske and Ron Schoonover. I knew Art was a thorough, respected writer during that period. I am proud to say I served alongside him for a brief time.

Thank you for putting small-time Iowa journalism on the map!


Creston News Advertiser


I am writing to congratulate you on your Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism. I am almost 70 and since I was editor of my high school newspaper in St. Paul, Minn., I have been an avid reader, sometimes contributor and supporter of newspapers, in particular small town papers.  I must admit to a bit of Midwest pride that you folks won this, in spite of my spending most of my adult life in New England.

You probably are overwhelmed with national attention, but I am certain there are other folks like me, who know how important the work is that you do and how you contribute to your community. You give hope to us that good investigative journalism is still alive and has a future.

As my younger friends say, good on you!


Corona de Tucson, Ariz.


Congratulations on your Pulitzer!  It’s nice to know that someone still has the courage to take on this subject. The historic and ongoing Ag. tile drainage in Iowa has created a horrible water quality issue for all Iowans (and everyone else downstream) to deal with. I am glad you had the guts to present factual information about Ag’s dirty little secret – one that they will never take ownership of.  Thanks.


Pierre, S.D.


I just read on the Bill Moyers web site (with a link to the Guardian) that you were awarded the Pulitzer Prize "for taking on powerful agricultural companies over farm pollution."  This is phenomenal, and it absolutely made my day.

I was just about to throw in the towel in my own battle against a federal agency (National Museum of Health and Medicine) trying to repatriate the remains of my Native American ancestor. You've given me hope. It can be done. Battles against Goliath can be won.   The Guardian's author's name was not given; but you need to know (if you haven't seen it already) he/she described your accomplishment/writing as being ". . . fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa”.

Bravo to you and yours! I was so struck by your winning the biggest and best prize for writing that I had to take a time out to say "thank-you" and "congratulations." You all must be so proud of your hard work and dedication to excellence. You have impressed the world and all the minions who struggle each day against the powerful holding all the cash. lol.

Good for you and congratulations again,


Bryson City, N.C.