Howard Weaver, a self-described “poor kid from a shabby neighborhood,” was 24 years old and terrified when he was assigned by the floundering Anchorage Daily News to expose a rapacious chapter of the Teamsters union that was corruptly profiting from Alaska’s oil pipeline boom.
“Any way you sliced it,” he recalled, “the odds were against us, a mismatch of Goliathian proportions.”
But Mr. Weaver was hungry. Hungry enough that after months of investigative reporting, he and his colleagues exposed “a complex maze of political, economic and social power,” which, they wrote, “challenges at times both mighty industry and state government itself.”
Three weeks before The Daily News declared that it was on the brink of bankruptcy, the scrappy newspaper with a circulation of about 13,000 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1976 for its reporting on Teamsters Local 959. It was the smallest paper and the first in Alaska to win the coveted medal.
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