A Pulitzer for expose on Navy

The Detroit News won the Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service for its series exposing the US Navy's cover-up of circumstances surrounding the deaths of sailors aboard ships.

President Michael I. Sovern of Columbia University announced the 66th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, letters, and drama, awarded by the Pulitzer Prize Board. Monitor correspondent Ward Morehouse III reports the following prizes were also awarded:

* International reporting award: to John Darnton of the New York Times, for his coverage of Poland. Jack Rosenthal, also of the Times, won the Pulitzer award for editorial writing.

* National reporting award: to Rick Atkinson of the Kansas City Times, for a series on America's mismanagement of water resources, as well as other stories of national scope.

* General local reporting award: to the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times, for their coverage of the Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster in July 1981.

* Special local investigative reporting award: to Paul Henderson of The Seattle Times for his stories which proved the innocence of a man convicted of rape.

* Best commentary: to columnist Art Buchwald.

* Drama prize: to Charles Fuller for his work entitled ''A Soldier's Play.''

* Fiction award: to John Updike for his novel ''Rabbit Is Rich.''

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