Series on drug war wins Pulitzer Prize
NEW YORK— Filipino Manuel Mogato, American Clare Baldwin and British Andrew R.C. Marshall from Reuters news agency won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting on President Duterte’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs. Reuters also won the Pulitzer for feature photography documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
NEW YORK— A Filipino journalist and his American and British colleagues from Reuters news agency have won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting on President Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.
Reuters also won the prize for feature photography documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, while The New York Times and The Washington Post shared honors for exposing sexual harassment in America and detailing the US investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
The Pulitzers, the most prestigious awards in American journalism, recognized Reuters for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Mr. Duterte’s antidrug campaign since he took office in 2016.
“In a year in which many Pulitzers were rightly devoted to US domestic matters, we’re proud at Reuters to shine a light on global issues of profound concern and importance,” said Reuters editor in chief Stephen J. Adler.
2 prizes in one year
It was the first time Reuters has won two prizes in one year.
In the Philippine coverage, Filipino Manuel Mogato, American Clare Baldwin and British Andrew R.C. Marshall “demonstrated how police in President Duterte’s ‘drug war’ have killed with impunity and consistently been shielded from prosecution,” Adler said.
The coverage included a report that revealed how a police antidrug squad in Quezon City had recorded an unusually high number of killings. Many members of the squad came from Mr. Duterte’s hometown, where the campaign’s brutal methods originated during his time as mayor there.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer was the only Philippine newspaper that gave prominence to the Reuters stories on the antinarcotics campaign.
It was Marshall’s second Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. In 2014, the Reuters Southeast Asia special correspondent won the prize with his colleague, Jason Szep, and his team, for exposing the violent persecution of the Rohingya.
Baldwin, a special correspondent for Reuters who was born and raised in Alaska, has investigated the Philippine drug war since it began in June 2016.
Mogato, a journalist for more than three decades, has been Reuters’ political and general news correspondent in Manila for almost 15 years.
Malacañang congratulated Mogato even as it continued to justify the legitimacy of the antidrug campaign.
“Definitely, I’d have to congratulate Manuel Mogato,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“But the fact remains,” Roque said, “that the policy of the President on the drug war is that the drug war is legitimate, intended to protect the youth from the ill effects of drugs.”
The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to the Reuters journalists for their “relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.”
For his part, Mogato told the Inquirer that he never thought he would bag a Pulitzer.
“That’s the Holy Grail for us,” said the 55-year-old Mogato.
He is the second Filipino to win a Pulitzer.
In 1942, Carlos P. Romulo won the Pulitzer Prize in correspondence for his works that predicted the outbreak of World War II.
His series of articles for the Philippines Herald on the Southeast Asian political situation provided prewar evaluations of the military situation in the Pacific area.
The Reuters team has now won a total of nine awards and recognitions, including the Roy Rowan Award for best investigative report of the Overseas Press Club Awards in New York and the Amnesty International Award.
The Reuters photography staff also received honors for images of the violence endured by the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, as they fled Myanmar for Bangladesh.
“The extraordinary photography of the mass exodus of the Rohingya people to Bangladesh demonstrates not only the human cost of conflict but also the essential role photojournalism can play in revealing it,” Adler said.
Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been jailed in Myanmar since Dec. 12 last year, charged under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in Rakhine state.
Other Pulitzer winners
In the United States, major media took other Pulitzers for reporting that shaped the political and cultural agenda.
The New York Times and the New Yorker magazine shared the honor for public service for their reporting on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The Washington Post won the investigative reporting prize for breaking the story that the Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore had a history of courting teenage girls. Moore, a Republican backed by President Donald Trump, had been favored to win the special election but lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
The New York Times and the Washington Post shared the honor for national reporting for their coverage of the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.
The Pulitzers have been awarded since 1917, after being established in the will of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The 17-member Pulitzer board is made up of past winners and other distinguished journalists and academics.
It chose the winners in 14 journalism categories plus seven that recognize fiction, drama, history, biography, poetry, general nonfiction and music.
BANNER STORIES The Inquirer ran the Reuters series as banner stories on Nov. 29, 2017, and Dec. 21, 2017.
Manuel Mogato: Filipino
Andrew R.C. Marshall: British
Clare Baldwin: American