WASHINGTON, April 17 — Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, one for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, and one for feature photography documenting the Rohingya migrant crisis between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The Pulitzers, the most prestigious awards in American journalism, also honoured US media for their work on some of the most pressing domestic issues such as pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace and the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.
“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,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler said.
The New York Times and the New Yorker magazine shared the honour for public service for their reporting on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The reporting revealed “explosive, impactful journalism that exposed powerful and wealthy sexual predators,” the Pulitzer board said.
Reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey shared the Times honour for their report on Weinstein, which triggered a series of similar allegations against influential men in politics, journalism and show business and gave rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have encouraged victims to come forward.
The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow was also recognized for a Weinstein report that detailed the allegations of a woman who reported her accusations to New York police. Authorities have since renewed a criminal investigation of 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. The Moore report came as stories of men abusing their power over women abounded, contributing to changing public attitudes. 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 honour for national reporting for their coverage of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.
The award was given “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration”.
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.
Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize, taking the music award for his album DAMN.
And it was the first time that Reuters has won two prizes in one year.
The international reporting prize was awarded to Reuters reporters Clare Baldwin, Andrew RC Marshall and Manuel Mogato “for relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs,” the Pulitzer board said.
The Philippines coverage included a report that revealed how a police anti-drug squad on the outskirts of Manila had recorded an unusually high number of killings. Many of those police officers in turn came from a distant place that was also Duterte’s hometown, where the campaign’s brutal methods originated during his time as mayor there.
“The series of investigations from the Philippines demonstrated how police in the president’s ‘drug war’ have killed with impunity and consistently been shielded from prosecution,” Adler said.
The feature photography prize was awarded to the Reuters photography staff “for shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar.”
“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 won a Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for international reporting by Marshall and Jason Szep on the violent persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar that has often fallen victim to predatory human-trafficking networks.
Reuters’ first Pulitzer, for breaking news photography, came in 2008 for Adrees Latif’s photo of a Japanese videographer fatally wounded during a street demonstration in Myanmar.
The Reuters photography staff also won the breaking news photography award in 2016 for photos of Middle Eastern refugees arriving in Europe. — Reuters