The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism Monday for its coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, an attack on democracy that was a shocking start to a tumultuous year that also saw the end of the United States' longest war, in Afghanistan.
The Post's extensive reporting, published in a sophisticated interactive series, found numerous problems and failures in political systems and security before, during and after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in the newspaper's own backyard.
The U.S. pullout and resurrection of the Taliban's grip on Afghanistan permeated across categories: One of the two prizes awarded in breaking news photography went to Los Angeles Times correspondent and photographer Marcus Yam, for work related to the fall of Kabul. The New York Times won in the international reporting category for reporting challenging official accounts of civilian deaths from U.S. airstrikes in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Pulitzer Prizes, administered by Columbia University and considered the most prestigious in American journalism, recognize work in 15 journalism categories and seven arts categories. This year's awards, which were livestreamed, honored work produced in 2021. The winner of the public service award receives a gold medal, while winners of each of the other categories get $15,000.
The intersection of health, safety and infrastructure played a prominent role among the winning projects.
The Tampa Bay Times won the investigative reporting award for "Poisoned," its in-depth look into a polluting lead factory. The Miami Herald took the breaking news award for its work covering the deadly Surfside condo tower collapse, while The Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune won the local reporting award for "Deadly Fires, Broken Promises," the watchdog and newspaper's examination of a lack of enforcement of fire safety standards.
"We are enormously proud of our team for their relentless reporting that sparked decisive change, making conditions safer for workers and the community," Tampa Bay Times editor and vice president Mark Katches said in a statement, calling the reporters' journalism "a testament to the importance of a vital local newsroom like the Times."
The Pulitzer Prizes also awarded a special citation to Ukrainian journalists, acknowledging their "courage, endurance and commitment" in covering the ongoing Russian invasion that began earlier this year. Last August, the Pulitzer board granted a special citation to Afghan journalists who risked their safety to help produce news stories and images from their own war-torn country.
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