Satire: Local tradesperson wins Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting

By Kellen MacGregor, copy editor.

REYKJAVIK – Thousands of esteemed writers across numerous fields convened in the Icelandic capital’s hallowed Harpa concert hall to commemorate the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Award Show. Though thousands appeared to spectate or accept awards in person, millions more watched from afar through television and computer screens around the globe.

“Who are you wearing?” was the last question on everyone’s minds; rather, an unsuspected newcomer’s nomination in the Journalism category created the night’s buzz.

“Honestly, I’m just here for the giggles and horse derves [sic],” said Greg Schlack, a circumcised Tri-City native attending for his Investigative Reporting nomination. “Not even sure what a Pullet Surprise [sic] is, quite frankly.”

From cobbling shoes to thorough investigations into journalistic integrity, Schlack never once imagined he would someday be an attendee at such a prestigious gathering. Nonetheless, what brought Schlack to Reykjavik disproves any doubt of his sheer, raw talent.

“It began when I was skimming through my hometown’s newspaper,” shared Schlack. “Then it caught my gaze: This newspaper didn’t properly categorize its satire section!”

The newspaper, which will remain unnamed, released one satire article per issue in its section titled “Opinion.” Though the satire appeared near other subjective, perspective-based pieces, it was never distinctly labeled as satire, concerning Schlack enough to start an investigation.

“In the middle of the publication, there weren’t any gosh-darn red flags telling me what I was reading was satirical!” said Schlack. “I remember reading an article about a salad with fordskin [sic] on it! How was I, a reader, to know if it’s true or not?”

Schlack began by contacting and asking for support from congresspeople, though to no avail. Eventually, Schlack took his cause to the internet, creating a WordPress account to spread awareness of the “fake news” abundant in the local newspaper. Short thereafter, the blogpost was discovered by the Pulitzer Prize Board and placed Schlack into the Investigative Reporting category, alongside New York Times and Al Jazeera reporters.

At the show, the award for which Greg Schlack is nominated is finally announced. Presenter Eva Longoria, with envelope in hand, approaches the oaken podium. Slowly tearing the seal off its fold, Longoria removes the paper inside and proclaims the name printed upon it: “The winner for Best Investigative Reporting goes to… Greg Schlack, for dismantling fake news disguised as satire!”

Sauntering toward the stage to receive what was initially an unheard-of occurence, Greg Schlack pinched his arm to ascertain whether he was dreaming; he was fully awake and erect.

Succinctly, eloquently and passion-ridden, Schlack delivered his speech: “Wow. Can’t believe it. Super honored. Thanks.”

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