Images-27 OPEN GOVERNMENT -- Mark Mahoney, the editorial page editor at a small daily newspaper in upstate Glens Falls, New York has won the Pulitzer Prize for his pieces in 2008 advocating openness in local government. His employer, the Post-Star, reports:

The
national contest annually recognizes the best reporting and writing
published in a calendar year, and the honorees generally come from the
biggest and most well-known newspapers in the country.

The Post-Star has
never before been recognized as a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist
and, with 34,000 daily circulation, it was the smallest paper among
this year’s winners. Only one other paper with less than 100,000
circulation — the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., a co-winner in
the local news category — was among the winners. All the others were large metropolitan papers, such as The New York Times, which won five prizes.

*****

Mahoney’s
editorials focused on issues to which he has returned many times over
the years — governmental openness and accountability, freedom of
information and First Amendment rights.

Mahoney’s specialty,
recognized by the judges, is to take on complicated, contentious issues
with clarity and wit. He has a gift for making dry topics, like the
Freedom of Information Law, readable through entertaining examples and
comparisons.

The winning editorials mostly dealt with issues frequently encountered in California --