Pulitzer Prizes had been awarded on Monday to information organizations that delved into company corruption, sexual violence, overseas election interference and the legacy of racism within the United States, recognizing journalists’ examinations of inequality and different societal ills.
The New York Times received three prizes on Monday, within the classes of commentary, investigative journalism and worldwide reporting.
The commentary award went to Nikole Hannah-Jones, a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, for her essay that served because the main piece in The 1619 Project, a collection centered on reframing United States historical past by specializing in the results of slavery and the contributions of black Americans. The challenge, led by Ms. Hannah-Jones, included a broadsheet part, a podcast and a curriculum.
The investigative prize went to a Times investigation, by Brian M. Rosenthal, on the New York City taxi industry. It found that the drivers, some of whom did not speak English, had been saddled with predatory loans that valued taxi medallions at $1 million or more, helping cause nearly a thousand medallion owners to file for bankruptcy and contributing to at least nine suicides. The series prompted the city to propose a $500 million bailout.
The board awarded its international prize to a series by the staff of The Times detailing Russia’s influence operations abroad, from assassinations to election-meddling, in the years following its disinformation efforts in the 2016 U.S. elections.
The award for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, went to The Anchorage Daily News and the nonprofit organization ProPublica for their yearlong joint investigation of sexual violence in Alaska.
The series uncovered a “two-tiered” criminal justice system in Alaska, in which rural communities, disproportionately populated by Indigenous people, had limited or no access to law enforcement. The report found that these cities and towns had four times as many sex offenders as other areas in the United States, per capita.
For the first time ever, with podcasts seemingly in every ear, the board gave a prize for audio reporting.
It went to “This American Life,” the longtime program produced by the Chicago station WBEZ that helped pioneer long-form narrative storytelling, for an episode that examined the United States’ “Stay in Mexico” immigration policy. The episode was reported by Molly O’Toole, of The Los Angeles Times, and Emily Green, a freelancer who had written on the topic for Vice.
The Pulitzer Prizes, first given in 1917 and presented annually by Columbia University for excellence in journalism, books, music and drama, were announced via video livestream from the living room of the Pulitzer administrator, Dana Canedy, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last month the Pulitzer board moved the date of the ceremony from April 20 to Monday, saying that many board members were “on the front lines of informing the public on the quickly evolving coronavirus pandemic.”
Ms. Canedy began the announcement Monday afternoon by comparing journalists to first responders and health care workers: All, she said, are “running toward the fire.”
“Despite relentless assaults on objective truth, coordinated efforts to undermine our nation’s free press and persistent economic headwinds, journalists continue to pursue and deliver essential facts and truths to keep us safe and to protect our democracy,” she said. “They’re risking — and far too often losing — their lives at a time when their words, their images and their revelations are more necessary to our democracy than ever.”