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Kendrick Lamar makes history at Pulitzers

April 16, 2018

Kendrick Lamar is the first rapper to win the prestigious award's music prize. In the journalism categories, reporters won big with revelations about sexual harassment allegations against high-profile men.

This cover image released by Interscope Records shows "Damn." by Kendrick Lamar.
Image: picture alliance/AP Photo/Interscope Records

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes were announced at New York City's Columbia University on Monday, honoring the best of the year's US-based journalism, literature and music composition.

It was a big night for the #MeToo movement, with the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine taking the public service award for their reporting on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his wide net of cover-ups and victim pressuring.

The Washington Post then won the investigative journalism category for revealing allegations that Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore had a history of sexually harassing teenage girls.

Both the Post and the Times scored their second award of the evening for national reporting, this time for illuminating different aspects of the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into possible ties between US President Donald Trump's election campaign and Russian agents.

A car rams into protestors in Charlottesville
Ryan Kelly of the Daily Progress in Charlottesvile won the Breaking News Photography category for capturing the moment a right-wing extremist struck counter-protestors with his carImage: picture alliance/dpa/Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress

Although a rule change this year meant that national newsrooms, not just local ones, were eligible in the breaking news category, the prize still went to a local newsroom. The winners were the reporters of the Press Democrat, a newspaper in Santa Rosa, California, for their coverage of the state's deadly wildfires.

In the international reporting category, three Reuters reporters were honored for their coverage of the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal crackdown on the drug trade. The news agency also won the feature photography prize for its images of the Rohingya migrant crisis. 

For the first time ever, a rapper won the Pulitzer Prize for Music: Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed album "DAMN," which was described by the Pulitzer board as a remarkable work of art that deftly portrays the complexity of the African American experience.

Lamar is not only the first rapper to win the music prize; it is the first time the award has been given to an album that is neither classical nor jazz music.

In the literature category, Andrew Sean Greer won for his novel Less, a comic rumination on the anxieties and foibles of its protagonist, a mediocre novelist about to turn 50. Half-Light, a collection of poetry by Frank Bidart, also won.

es/aw (AP, Reuters)

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