David Barstow (BSJ86), senior writer at The New York Times, was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting on Monday, along with colleague Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab, for their stories on Wal-Mart using bribery to dominate the market in Mexico.
The winning entry was a two-story investigation into the widespread, orchestrated campaign Wal-Mart conducted in the company’s largest foreign subsidiary. An internal investigation revealed hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million, but the Mexican subsidiary’s top executives took steps to conceal the bribes from Wal-Mart’s American headquarters. The stories Barstow and Von Bertrab reported led to changes in Wal-Mart’s policies.
This is Barstow’s third Pulitzer. He was previously awarded in 2009 for Investigative Reporting for his stories on how some retired generals who worked as analysts for television and radio were being recruited by the Pentagon to “shape terrorism coverage” and make the case for the war in Iraq. In 2004, The New York Times was awarded in the Public Service category for the work of Barstow and Times colleague Lowell Bergman that examined the death and injury of American workers due to neglect by their employers.
Before joining the New York Times in 1999, Barstow spent 10 years at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, now named the Tampa Bay Times, where he was a multiple Pulitzer finalist.