IU School of Journalism alumnus Tim Nickens won a Pulitzer Prize today 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 flouride 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 for the Indiana Daily Student in 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. "My experience at Indiana University and my education at the School of Journalism means everything to me, and I'm very proud of that."
This is Nickens' first Pulitzer, although his team was nominated last year and became a finalist.
Nickens said while the day is one worth celebrating, for him it's bittersweet.
He said today he celebrated in his newsroom with an IU School of Journalism flag in hand, but he's concerned and disappointed at the potential future of his former school, in regards to the proposed merger of the journalism school under the College of Arts and Sciences.
"I'm concerned about the ability of IU to attract the best journalism students, the best facutly, and to prepare journalism students for the journalism world under this shotgun marriage," Nickens said.
- Hannah Smith