The Washington Post and The Guardian won the Pulitzer Prize in public service Monday for revealing the U.S. government's sweeping surveillance efforts in stories based on thousands of secret documents handed over by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
The Pulitzer for breaking news was awarded to The Boston Globe for its coverage of the deadly Boston Marathon bombing.
The awards are American journalism's highest honor.
The winning entries about the NSA's spy programs showed the government has collected information about millions of Americans' phone calls and emails based on its classified interpretations of laws passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The disclosures touched off a furious debate in the U.S. over privacy versus security and led President Barack Obama to impose limits on the surveillance.
Edward Snowden released a statement in response to the prize.
"Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance."
The winners of the public service award receive gold medals. The other awards carry a $10,000 prize.
The following are the winners in each category:
JOURNALISM: PUBLIC SERVICE - Guardian US, The Washington Post
JOURNALISM: BREAKING NEWS REPORTING - Boston Globe staff
JOURNALISM: INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING - Chris Hamby, The Center for Public Integrity
JOURNALISM: EXPLANATORY REPORTING - Eli Saslow, The Washington Post
JOURNALISM: LOCAL REPORTING - Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia, Tampa Bay Times
JOURNALISM: NATIONAL REPORTING - David Philipps, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado
JOURNALISM: INTERNATIONAL REPORTING - Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall, Reuters
JOURNALISM: FEATURE WRITING - No award
JOURNALISM: COMMENTARY - Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press
JOURNALISM: CRITICISM - Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer
JOURNALISM: EDITORIAL WRITING - The Oregonian, Portland
JOURNALISM: EDITORIAL CARTOONING - Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer
JOURNALISM: BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY - Tyler Hicks, The New York Times
JOURNALISM: FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY - Josh Haner, The New York Times
LETTERS: FICTION - "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)
LETTERS: DRAMA - "The Flick," by Annie Baker
LETTERS: HISTORY - "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832," by Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton)
LETTERS: BIOGRAPHY - "Margaret Fuller: A New American Life," by Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
LETTERS: POETRY - "3 Sections," by Vijay Seshadri
LETTERS: GENERAL NONFICTION - "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation," by Dan Fagin (Bantam Books)
MUSIC - "Become Ocean," by John Luther Adams
- Associated Press