The New York Times and The Washington Post Win 3 Pulitzers Each

The New York Times and The Washington Post Win 3 Pulitzers Each

By Oghale May7,2024

The New York Times and The Washington Post received three Pulitzer Prizes each on Monday for a wide array of journalism that spanned conflict and injustice around the globe, including the plight of child migrant workers in the American Midwest, the lethal consequences of war in the Middle East and the brutal repression of dissent in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, went to ProPublica for exposing a web of questionable financial entanglements involving Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. The series, which revealed that Justice Thomas failed to disclose lavish gifts he had received from wealthy supporters, prompted the court to issue a new ethical code of conduct.

The prize for investigations went to Hannah Dreier of The Times, for an exposé of migrant child labor in the modern United States, and the governmental blunders and disregard that have allowed the illegal practice to persist. This was the second Pulitzer awarded to Ms. Dreier, who won the 2019 feature writing prize for her coverage of the criminal gang MS-13 for ProPublica.

The Times received the international reporting prize for its coverage of the war in the Middle East. The newspaper’s foreign staff produced an array of stories that encompassed the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the errors by Israeli defense forces that left its citizens vulnerable and the consequences for Palestinian civilians of Israel’s subsequent military campaign in Gaza.

The Pulitzer board also issued a special citation for journalists covering the conflict, noting that “under horrific conditions, an extraordinary number of journalists have died in the effort to tell the stories of Palestinians and others in Gaza.” The citation comes at a moment when the Middle East reporting of many media outlets, including The Times, has become a focus of criticism from activists on all sides of the conflict.

The Washington Post shared the prize for national reporting for “Terror on Repeat,” an examination of the AR-15 rifle, a widely available weapon commonly used in deadly mass killings that is capable of firing hundreds of bullets in rapid succession. The Post described how the rifle had “given assailants the power to instantly turn everyday American gathering places into zones of gruesome violence.”

Reuters was the other winner for national reporting, for its examination of troubling practices at workplaces controlled by Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, including the rocket company SpaceX and Tesla, the manufacturer of electric cars.

The Post was also recognized twice for its opinion journalism. The commentary prize went to Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian activist and journalist who had contributed columns from a jail cell in Russia, where he has been detained by the government of President Putin. David E. Hoffman of The Post won the editorial writing prize for a series on authoritarians’ use of digital technology to squash dissent.

The New York Times Magazine received the award for feature writing for “The Mother Who Changed: A Story of Dementia,” by Katie Engelhart, a portrait of how two sisters navigated their mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The article addressed knotty questions of medical ethics and how to compassionately care for loved ones in the grip of mental decline.

The New Yorker received two prizes. Sarah Stillman, a staff writer, was recognized in the explanatory reporting category for her examination of felony murder, a legal doctrine that often leads to draconian consequences for Black and young Americans. Medar de la Cruz, a contributor, won the illustrated reporting prize for a visual story set in New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex. The story, which drew on the author’s experience as a library worker at the jail, was the first piece that he had submitted to the magazine.

Justin Chang, who joined The New Yorker this year, received the criticism prize for film reviews written at his previous employer, The Los Angeles Times. Greg Tate, a writer who died in 2021 and whose influential criticism and essays on hip-hop helped establish the genre as an elevated art form, received a special citation.

Started in 1917, the Pulitzer Prizes are presented annually by Columbia University for excellence in journalism and letters. In its presentation on Monday, the Pulitzer board acknowledged the ongoing turmoil in the news industry that has led to thousands of job losses and raised existential questions about the sustainability of the industry.

One nonprofit journalism organization, the Chicago-based Invisible Institute, received two prizes. It won the local reporting prize for an investigation into missing Black girls and women in Chicago, in partnership with City Bureau, another nonprofit newsroom. The audio reporting prize went to the Invisible Institute and USG Audio for a series on a hate crime in Chicago in the 1990s.

Two major wire services received photography prizes. The Associated Press was recognized for images of migrants traveling from Colombia to the southern border of the United States. Reuters won for the photographs it produced, on deadline, of the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, and the early weeks of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

Lookout Santa Cruz, a digital-only start-up in California that aims to eliminate so-called news deserts in communities where traditional media outlets have closed, won the breaking news prize for coverage of damaging floods and mudslides in the region.

In the prizes for arts and letters, the Pulitzer board recognized several works addressing the Black experience in America.

“King: A Life,” a biography of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Jonathan Eig, shared the award for biography with “Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom,” by Ilyon Woo, an account of slaves who escaped Georgia in 1848 and became leading abolitionists in the North. The history prize went to Jacqueline Jones for “No Right to an Honest Living: The Struggles of Boston’s Black Workers in the Civil War Era.”

The Middle East conflict figured in the prize for general nonfiction, which was awarded to “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy,” by Nathan Thrall, which profiles a Palestinian father in the West Bank whose young child dies in a school bus crash.

A saxophone concerto by Tyshawn Sorey won the music prize. “Night Watch,” a novel by Jayne Anne Phillips set in the aftermath of the Civil War, won for fiction. “Primary Trust,” a play by Eboni Booth, won the drama prize. And the prize for memoir was awarded to Cristina Rivera Garza for “Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice,” an account of the murder of the author’s sister.

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By Oghale

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