The winners of the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes were announced at Columbia University in New York City on Monday. Pulitzers are regarded as the highest honor a journalist can receive.
Reporters and outlets that covered mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, were honored at Monday’s ceremony.
Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, one for revealing the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces, and another for photographs of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States.
The awards marked the second year in a row that Reuters has won two Pulitzers, the most prestigious prize in American journalism. Overall Reuters has won seven since 2008.
Reacting upon the honour, Reuters’ leaders say they’re proud that the news service won Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting and breaking news photography, but they’re dismayed that two reporters are in prison for their award-winning work.
Thomson Reuters CEO Jim Smith says the news service “won’t be truly celebrating until Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are free.”
Meanwhile, at the outset of the announcement event, Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy also honored the staff of the Eagle Eye student newspaper at Marjory Stoneman, who submitted the obituaries of the victims of the shooting. Canedy said that while the entry did not win, it “should give us all hope for the future of journalism in this great democracy.”
In breaking news reporting, the Pulitzer went to the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its “immersive, compassionate coverage” of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in October 2018, in which 11 people were killed.
The Capital Gazette was awarded a 2019 Pulitzer Prize special citation. A gunman opened fire at its offices in June 2018, killing five. The committee awarded the journalists, staff, and editorial board of the newspaper for their “courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in US history.” The board also gave the Capital Gazette $100,000 to “further the newspaper’s journalistic mission.”