Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story misidentified three finalists as winners.
The Pittsburgh mass shooting at a synagogue and failings of law enforcement officials before and after the Parkland, Florida high school massacre were among the subjects that garnered newspapers the top prize in journalism Monday.
The Pittsburg Post-Gazette was awarded a Pulitzer for best Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that resulted in 11 deaths and thrust the community into grief. The South Florida Sun Sentinel was given the best Public Service Pulitzer award for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2019 were announced on Monday afternoon at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
The Pulitzer Prizes, which are the most prestigious awards in American journalism, are awarded in 21 categories of journalism, letters, drama and music. Winners receive a $15,000 cash award.
This year a special citation was given to honor the team at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, “for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in U.S. history.” They received an award of $100K to further their journalism.
Aretha Franklin also received a special award for her contributions to American music and culture.
Also winning Pulitzers this year are the usual media stalwarts — The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Investigative reporting Pulitzers went to Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times for their uncovering and reporting of abuse by University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall.
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The Journal was awarded the national reporting Pulitzer for its coverage of Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress, while the Times won the explanatory reporting award for an investigation into Trump’s tax claims.
- Local Reporting: Staffers at The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana “for a damning portrayal of the state’s discriminatory conviction system, including a Jim Crow-era law, that enabled Louisiana courts to send defendants to jail without jury consensus on the accused’s guilt.”
- International Reporting: Associated Press staffers Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty won “for a revelatory yearlong series detailing the atrocities of the war in Yemen, including theft of food aid, deployment of child soldiers and torture of prisoners.”
- International Reporting: Reuters staff, with notable contributions from Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo also took home the award “for expertly exposing the military units and Buddhist villagers responsible for the systematic expulsion and murder of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, courageous coverage that landed its reporters in prison.”
- Feature Writing: Hannah Dreier of ProPublica “for a series of powerful, intimate narratives that followed Salvadoran immigrants on New York’s Long Island whose lives were shattered by a botched federal crackdown on the international criminal gang MS-13.”
- Commentary: Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “for bold columns that exposed the malfeasance and injustice of forcing poor rural Missourians charged with misdemeanor crimes to pay unaffordable fines or be sent to jail.”
- Criticism: Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post “for trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.”
- Editorial Writing: Brent Staples of The New York Times “for editorials written with extraordinary moral clarity that charted the racial fault lines in the United States at a polarizing moment in the nation’s history.”
- Editorial Cartooning: Freelancer Darrin Bell “for beautiful and daring editorial cartoons that took on issues affecting disenfranchised communities, calling out lies, hypocrisy and fraud in the political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration.”
- Breaking News Photography: Reuters “for a vivid and startling visual narrative of the urgency, desperation and sadness of migrants as they journeyed to the U.S. from Central and South America.”
- Feature Photography: Lorenzo Tugnoli of The Washington Post “for brilliant photo storytelling of the tragic famine in Yemen, shown through images in which beauty and composure are intertwined with devastation.” (Moved by the jury from Breaking News Photography, where it was originally entered.)
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