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.

Palace con­grat­u­la­tions

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.

Ro­hingya pho­tos

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

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