Jim Morin/Miami Herald Cartoon
Despite circulation at U.S. newspapers dwindling at an accelerated clip, and editorial staffs continuing to absorb painful staff cuts, it is encouraging to know there remains spectacular journalism (and talented, hard-working journalists) being performed at both large and small U.S. daily newsrooms.
The Pulitzer Board Administrator, Mike Pride, announced the winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prizes in the World Room at Columbia University in New York, N.Y. on Monday at approximately 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
The New York Times, widely regarded as the “national newspaper of record,” earned three Pulitzers, bringing their grand total of Pulitzer’s to 122, more than any other news competitor.
The Times won in International Reporting. The Times international staff (Andrew Higgins, Andrew Kramer, Neil MacFarquhar, Eric Lipton, Jo Becker, David Sanger, Eric Schmitt, Scott Shane, Steven Erlanger, Mike McIntire and Barry Meier) were recognized for their extensive reporting on Vladimir Putin and his efforts to augment Russia’s presence on the world stage through assassinations, online harassment and the planting of incriminating evidence on opponents.
The international team were additionally recognized for the reporting on how Russian cyberpower invaded the U.S.
C. J. Chivers of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer for Distinguished Feature Writing, in chronicling a Marine's painful postwar descent into violence and his struggles to adjust to life after war.
The New York Times third Pulitzer was for Breaking News Photography. Freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak earned his second Pulitzer, for "powerful storytelling through images published in The New York Times, showing the callous disregard for human life" of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal campaign in the Philippines.
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold (pictured above ) won for National Reporting for his remarkable work, in exposing Donald Trump’s philanthropy, casting serious doubt on Mr. Trump's repeated claims during the bruising presidential campaign, just how generous he really was toward charities.
The Pulitzer for Public Service went to the New York Daily News and ProPublica, largely through the efforts of Daily News reporter Sarah Ryley (pictured above), who chronicled widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people (through the use of a nuisance abatement law), most of them poor minorities.
The Miami Herald won two Pulitzers on Monday, their 21st and 22nd awarded to the Herald since 1951, and its first Pulitzer medal for public service. The Herald has come away with more Pulitzers than any other newspaper in the Southeast.
The Herald (comprised of an international consortium of McClatchy and Miami Herald investigative journalists) won for Explanatory Reporting in exposing the hidden infrastructure and global scale of an offshore tax haven.
Jim Morin (shown above) of the Miami Herald also won for Editorial Cartooning for what the Pulitzer Board described as "cartoons that delivered sharp perspectives through flawless artistry, biting prose and crisp wit."
For Breaking News, the staff of East Bay Times (Oakland, CA) were recognized for their pioneering reporting of a fire that broke out in a warehouse (Ghost Ship) in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California, killing 36, the deadliest in the history of Oakland.
Journalism's top prize for Investigative Reporting went to Eric Eyre (on left) of the Charleston Gazette-Mail for his shocking reporting of the opioid crisis in small-town West Virginia. Eyre's investigation found that, "over six years, drug wholesalers dumped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills onto the state while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers."
For Local Reporting, the Pulitzer went to the Salt Lake Tribune staff (shown above) for a series of disturbing reports, revealing "the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utah’s most powerful institutions."
The Pulitzer was the second for Utah's largest daily newspaper.
Feature Photography went to E. Jason Wambsgans (shown above) of the Chicago Tribune for his “tender portraits” of a child shooting victim, and the struggles of his mother, hoping to put his life back together.
Other winners include:
Editorial Writing: Art Cullen for editorials "fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa."
Criticism: Hilton Als of the New Yorker for his original stage dramas within a vastly changing global context, especially when writing about gender, sexuality and race.
Distinguished Commentary: Peggy Noonan for connecting readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation’s most divisive and anti-establishment political campaigns in U.S. history.
There are 21 Pulitzer categories. In 20 of those categories the winners receive a $10,000 cash award and a certificate. Only the winner in the Public Service category of the Journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
A Pulitzer Prize is considered the highest national honor for outstanding achievement in print journalism, literature, and musical composition. The Prizes were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left a gift of $500,000 to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his endowment helped establish the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
Recipients are chosen by an independent Pulitzer Prize Board appointed by Columbia University. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on June 4, 1917.
-- Bill Lucey
April 11, 2017