Toronto Star still getting the facts wrong about Pulitzer Prize winning Canadians

There's a right way for journalistic organizations to get things wrong.

Last year Paul Watson left the Toronto Star because they didn’t want him to write a story. Watson, being Watson, wrote the story. It’s a story about public relations, politics, and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. And it recently won a national award.

One fascinating detail in the midst of the whole ordeal was that the Toronto Star referred to Paul Watson as “Canada’s only Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.” Jesse Brown from Canadaland repeated this claim and was promptly corrected by someone that pointed out that Barbara Davidson, a Canadian and a journalist, had also won a Pulitzer Prize.

So, in Canadaland fashion, Brown and his team quickly looked into it, acknowledged the error, fixed it, explained how it happened, and moved on.12

The unfortunate thing is that, nearly a year later, and despite the Canadaland correction, the Toronto Star continues to describe Paul Watson as “Canada’s only Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.”3

I find this confusing so I had to look up who Barbara Davidson is. Turns out she was born in Montreal and lives in Los Angeles and works for the LA Times. She takes photos. In 2011 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her “intimate story of innocent victims trapped in the city’s crossfire of deadly gang violence.”4 She describes herself as a canuck on her Twitter bio.5

She’s an alumni of Concordia University and, wow, as it happens, she also won a team Pulitzer in 2006 for her work surrounding Hurricane Katrina.6

So what I take from this is that at least two Canadian journalists have won Pulitzer Prizes.

And the Toronto Star continues to be wrong about this simple fact.


  1. You can see Canadaland’s regret of the error, here:
  2. The Canadaland team is doing great work. Yes, I’m a supporter.
  3. This is the quote: “Paul Watson, Canada’s only Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, covered the Arctic and world news for the Toronto Star until July 2015. He won four National Newspaper Awards and one Canadian Association of Journalists award during his time with the Star.” (Accessed on June 27, 2016:
  4. This is explicitly a journalism category of Pulitzers.
  5. Wikipedia bio.


  1. I won my Pulitzer for photography in the early 90’s . The category was for sports and leisure. I still have a copy of the photo and a picture of the award. But have miss placed the trophy. It was also for celebrating the first 150 years of photography.

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