Pulitzer Prize win­ners cover scan­dals, cru­sades

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY JEN­NIFER PELTZ As­so­ci­ated Press

New York – The New York Times and The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for pub­lic ser­vice Mon­day for break­ing the Har­vey We­in­stein scan­dal with re­port­ing that gal­va­nized the #MeToo move­ment and set off a world­wide reck­on­ing over sex­ual mis­con­duct in the work­place.

The Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post took the award in the na­tional re­port­ing cat­e­gory for their cov­er­age of Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and con­tacts be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign and Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

The Press Demo­crat of Santa Rosa, Cal­i­for­nia, re­ceived the break­ing news re­port­ing award for cov­er­age of the wild­fires that swept through Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try last fall, killing 44 peo­ple and de­stroy­ing thou­sands of homes.

The Wash­ing­ton Post also won the in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing prize for re­veal­ing decades-old al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against Sen­ate can­di­date Roy Moore of Alabama. The Repub­li­can for­mer judge de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions, but they fig­ured heav­ily in Doug Jones’ vic­tory as the first Demo­crat elected to the Sen­ate from the state in decades.

One of the big­gest sur­prises of the day came in the non­jour­nal­ism cat­e­gories when rap star Ken­drick La­mar was awarded the Pulitzer for mu­sic, be­com­ing the first non-clas­si­cal or non-jazz artist to win the prize.

The Pulitzers, Amer­i­can jour­nal­ism’s most pres­ti­gious awards, re­flected a year of un­re­lent­ing news and un­prece­dented chal­lenges for U.S. me­dia, as Trump re­peat­edly branded re­port­ing “fake news” and called jour­nal­ists “the en­emy of the peo­ple.”

The New York Times won three Pulitzers and The Wash­ing­ton and Reuters re­ceived two apiece.

In an­nounc­ing the jour­nal­ism prizes, Pulitzer ad­min­is­tra­tor Dana Canedy said the win­ners “up­hold the high­est pur­pose of a free and in­de­pen­dent press, even in the most try­ing of times.”

In sto­ries that ap­peared within days of each other in Oc­to­ber, The Times and The New Yorker re­ported that movie mogul We­in­stein faced al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault from a mul­ti­tude of women in Hol­ly­wood and had se­cretly paid set­tle­ments to keep the claims from be­com­ing pub­lic.

The Pulitzer judges said The Times’ Jodi Kan­tor and Me­gan Twohey and The New Yorker’s Ro­nan Far­row pro­duced “ex­plo­sive, im­pact­ful jour­nal­ism that ex­posed pow­er­ful and wealthy sex­ual preda­tors” and forced the is­sue of sex­ual abuse into the open.

We­in­stein was ousted from the stu­dio he co-founded and now faces crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions in New York and Los An­ge­les. He has apol­o­gized for “the way I’ve be­haved with col­leagues in the past” but de­nied any non­con­sen­sual sex­ual con­tact.

We­in­stein spokes­woman Holly Baird de­clined to com­ment on the Pulitzer ex­cept to sug­gest sim­i­lar recog­ni­tion should be given to Tarana Burke, an ac­tivist who founded the #MeToo move­ment on Twit­ter about a decade ago to raise aware­ness of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

In other cat­e­gories, the Ari­zona Repub­lic and USA To­day Net­work won the ex­plana­tory re­port­ing prize for a multi-for­mat look at the chal­lenges and con­se­quences of build­ing the Mex­i­can bor­der wall that was a cen­ter­piece of Trump’s cam­paign. The project in­cluded footage from a he­li­copter flight along the en­tire 2,000-mile bor­der.

The break­ing news pho­tog­ra­phy award went to Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress of Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, who cap­tured the mo­ment a car plowed into counter-pro­test­ers demon­strat­ing against a white na­tion­al­ist rally in the col­lege town.

The car killed counter-demon­stra­tor Heather Heyer.

Kelly made the photo on his last day at the news­pa­per be­fore mov­ing on to a job at a brew­ery. In a text Mon­day, Kelly de­scribed the prize as an “in­cred­i­ble honor” but added: “Mostly I’m still heart­bro­ken for Heather Heyer’s fam­ily and ev­ery­body else who was af­fected by that tragic vi­o­lence.”

The Pulitzers were an­nounced at Columbia Uni­ver­sity. This is the 102nd year of the con­test.

Ryan M. Kelly / AP

The Pulitzer Prize for break­ing news pho­tog­ra­phy was for this photo of when a car plowed into counter-pro­test­ers at a white na­tion­al­ist rally.

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