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“It definitely does,” Huffington said. “Always in life, the narrative lags behind the reality.”

Huffington said Wood’s reporting exhibited the site’s commitment to original reporting and in-depth storytelling, while noting the site will remain “a platform” for distribution and aggregation.

Online news organizations were made eligible to receive Pulitzers in 2009.

But the Pulitzer breakthrough for the Huffington Post came, ironically or not, from old-fashioned reporting.

“The kind of reporting that I did varies not at all from the kind of reporting that I was doing 10 or 20 or even 30 years ago,” said Wood, a veteran correspondent of Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and others. “Except I’m better at it now.”



Social media skills allowed staffers at the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News to report the first word on a deadly tornado that stopped its presses.

The coverage, which included real-time updates on Twitter, earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.

City Editor Katherine Lee recalled that the April 2011 tornado hit just after the staff had a session on how to use social media for news coverage. Staffers hit the streets within moments after the storm passed, sending in updates about the twister, which was blamed for more than 50 deaths.

The newspaper also used its website as a bulletin board where people could post updates about their whereabouts or seek information about others.

The storm knocked out power to the newspaper, forcing it to publish at a plant 50 miles away.

One reporter, Jamon Smith, rushed to his neighborhood to find his apartment gone.

Despite losing everything except his car, cellphone and the clothes he was wearing when the twister hit, Smith worked nonstop through the night and next day. Everybody else kept going too, he said.

“We felt like it was something we had a duty to do, to let the world know what had happened here,” said Smith, who now lives in a different part of the city.