The Pulitzer Prize is the highest award in the United States for journalists and organizations. It is a coveted award that a lot of people wish to acquire. It aims at rewarding journalists and news companies for reporting that leaves an impact. The 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners are people belonging from different demographics who reported on important issues. The Pulitzer prize covers the domain of newspaper, magazine, and online journalism along with literature and music compositions. It was established in 1917 as per the will of Joseph Pulitzer. He was a popular newspaper publisher. Columbia University administers this every year. Let’s find out what happened this year.
The board announced the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners on May 4. Usually, a ceremony is held at Columbia University in New York City to announce them. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this ceremony was not possible. Hence, the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced from the living room of Dana Canedy, who is a Pulitzer administrator. The announcement was made over YouTube live. The awardees of the 2020 Pulitzer price are an embodiment of journalism that brings change. They highlight how one does not need to be well-known to raise your voice against injustice.
Pulitzer Prize Winners
The winners of the different categories are as follows:
Breaking News Reporting
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) won the Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting. This is for their coverage of last-minute pardons from Matt Bevin Who was the governor of Kentucky. Other finalists were the Los Angeles Times staff and The Washington Post staff. The Los Angeles Times made it to the finals for covering the Conception boat fire that ended up killing 34 people. The staff of The Washington Post came to the finals for covering mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, and Texas. They were just hours apart when they happened.
Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times bagged this Pulitzer. He reported on an examination of New York’s Taxi industry. It was impactful reporting on how vulnerable taxi drivers get stuck with predatory loans. Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News were one of the finalists. This was for revealing predatory bill gathering from the health system of the University of Virginia. The Wall Street Journal staff were the other finalists. They made it due to an investigation they made of Amazon’s third-party seller system.
The Washington Post bagged this one. They made a sequence that presented the impact of life-threatening temperatures on our planet. Swetha Kannan, Terry Castleman, and Rosanna Xia made it to the finals. They made a sequence on the impact of climate change on the California coastline and the people residing there. The staff of Reveal reported on worker injuries at Amazon’s warehouses and this made them one of the finalists. Reporting on Climate change won many Pulitzers this time around.
This one went to The Baltimore Sun for exposing a financial association between Baltimore’s mayor and a hospital system. This was a public system that her office supervised. The Boston Globe were the finalists for a piece on what socioeconomic inequalities did to the peak high school students. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette exposed sexual abuse in the Mennonite and Amish communities and became the other finalists.
Two Organizations tied under this category. T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose, and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica received this for investigating mishaps in America’s 7th Fleet. Steve Miletich, Dominic Gates, Lewis Kamb, and Mike Baker of The Seattle Times were awarded this for exposing flaws in Boeing 737 Max’s design.
The New York Times won this Pulitzer. They exposed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s destructive regime through stories. The New York Times also did a piece on China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims which came to the finals. A piece on Hong Kong protests from Reuters was also among the finalists.
Ben Taub of The New Yorker bagged the Pulitzer for this category. He wrote a piece on the friendship between a guard and a prisoner in Guantánamo Bay. Nestor Ramos of The Boston Globe was among the finalists with his piece on Changes in Cape Cod due to climate change.
Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times was awarded the Pulitzer under this category. It was awarded for a private essay that opened the 1619 Project. It viewed the origin of America through the eyes of enslaved Africans.
Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times won the Pulitzer in this category. He wrote a piece criticizing the refurbishment of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Texas) Herald-Press got this one. He wrote editorials that showed how inmates a small county jail died while they were awaiting trial.
Barry Blitt of The New Yorker bagged this Pulitzer. He makes watercolor style and gentle caricatures. His theme is the policies and personalities that emanate from the White House.
Breaking News Photography
The photography department of Reuters bagged this one for their coverage of the Hong Kong protests.
This American Life bagged the Pulitzer for Audio Reporting. It was with Molly O’Toole belonging to the Los Angeles Times and a freelancer Emily Green, from Vice News, for “The Out Crowd,”. It was a look at the impact of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and how it affected dynamics.
Anchorage Daily News along with from ProPublica won this Pulitzer. They did a sequence on small Alaskan towns that don’t have police protection.
A special citation was bestowed upon Ida B. Wells. She is a civil rights icon and an early forerunner of investigative journalism. The board will allot $50,000 in support of Wells’ vision.
The Pulitzer aims at rewarding impactful journalism and reporting. Climate change was an important theme for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners. So many people’s contributions to journalism paid off. The press ensures transparency and ensures that different issues get highlighted the world over.