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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

Alumnus Tim Nickens awarded Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer carousel

IU School of Journalism alumnus Tim Nickens won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for editorial writing. He won the award for a series of editorials he and Dan Ruth wrote for the Tampa Bay Times after the local government removed fluoride from the drinking water in 2012. As a result of the editorials, voters elected commissioners whose first vote was to put fluoride back in the water.

Nickens graduated from IU in 1982, and he served as editor-in-chief of the Indiana Daily Student during the same year. He is currently the editor of editorials at the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“It’s very rewarding and exciting,” Nickens said.

This is Nickens’ first Pulitzer, although his team was nominated last year and became a finalist.

Tom French, a Pulitzer Prize winner himself and a professor of practice in the IU School of Journalism, said he has known Nickens for 35 years. They worked together at the IDS and then at the Tampa Bay Times.

“Tim is a very dogged, creative, tenacious, tireless reporter,” French said. “He always was, and that’s who he was back at the IDS, and that’s the reporter he is today ... He’s somebody who’s going to be doing great work for a great time.”

Nickens becomes one of  35 School of Journalism alumni to be awarded Pulitzer Prizes, according to the school’s website. This includes French and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle, for whom the building that houses the School of Journalism is named.

Nickens said he celebrated in the Tampa Bay Times newsroom alongside fellow IU alumni and with a School of Journalism flag in his hand.

“My experience at Indiana University and my education at the School of Journalism means everything to me, and I’m very proud of that,” he said.

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