Pulitzer Prizes for US journalism and arts announced | News | DW | 10.04.2017
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Pulitzer Prizes for US journalism and arts announced

Winners of the Pulitzer Prizes have been announced. The US awards recognize the best journalism and writing in the previous year and have evolved over time to include digital and magazine journalism.

There are 21 Pulitzer categories. In 20 of those categories the winners receive a $10,000 (9,440 euro) cash award and a certificate. Only the winner in the Public Service category of the Journalism competition is awarded a gold medal. The Pulitzer is America's most prestigious journalism award and given in 14 categories of journalism, as well as seven categories for the arts.

Panama Papers

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and the Miami Herald have won the Pulitzer for explanatory reporting for examination of the leaked Panama Papers. 

On its website, the Pulitzer organization noted the award "For the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens."

Trump's charitable giving

David Fahrenthold picked up the Pulitzer in national reporting for a series of reports that questioned US President Donald Trump's claims of charitably giving. The Pulitzer committee cited the Washington Post journalist for his "persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump's assertions of generosity toward charities."

The investigative reporting award went to Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia: "For courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition, to expose the flood of opioids flowing into depressed West Virginia counties with the highest overdose death rates in the country."

Three awards for the New York Times

The New York Times staff won the Pulitzer for international reporting for "agenda-setting reporting on Vladimir Putin’s efforts to project Russia’s power abroad, revealing techniques that included assassination, online harassment and the planting of incriminating evidence on opponents."

New York Times writer C.J. Chivers won a Pulitzer for feature writing for "The Fighter." The powerful piece showed "through an artful accumulation of fact and detail, that a Marine's postwar descent into violence reflected neither the actions of a simple criminal nor a stereotypical case of PTSD."

The New York Times freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak won a Pulitzer for breaking news photography "for powerful storytelling through images published in The New York Times showing the callous disregard for human life in the Philippines brought about by a government assault on drug dealers and users."

The New York Daily News and Pro Publica won the Pulitzer gold medal for public service "for uncovering, primarily through the work of reporter Sarah Ryley, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor minorities." 

The arts

Colson Whitehead won the fiction award for "The Underground Railroad" which the Pulitzer organization called "a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America."

Lynn Nottage won the drama award for "Sweat," a play which was described as "a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream."

The general nonfiction prize went to Matthew Desmond for "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" which was deemed a "deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty."

Awarding US journalism since 1917

Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize which was first awarded in 1917. It allocated $250,000 to the prize and scholarships. He specified "four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships" which have evolved over time to include digital and magazine journalism awards.

The Pulitzer Prizes are usually awarded at a luncheon in late May.

cw/jm (AP, Reuters)

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