The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes on Monday honored journalists who broke stories on sexual assault and harassment that helped to elevate the #MeToo movement to national and global attention.
Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy, who announced the awards, said the winning journalists “uphold the purpose of free and independent press, even in trying times,” and the authors and artists who won “challenge our notion of creative expression.”
Reporters from The New York Times and the New Yorker received the prestigious public service award for reporting "that exposed powerful and wealthy sexual predators" like Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer. Reports of coercion, brutality and victim silencing spurred "a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women," the Pulitzer jury said in its citation.
In the music category, Kendrick Lamar made Pulitzer history by becoming the first rap artist to win a Pulitzer. His 2017 album, "DAMN," was hailed by the jury as a "virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism," capturing the "complexity of modern African-American life." All previous music Pulitzers have gone to jazz or classical composers.
The staff of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, took home the award for breaking news, for “lucid and tenacious" coverage of historic wildfires that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County in 2017.
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For investigative reporting, the staff of The Washington Post was recognized for its articles on the Senate race of Roy Moore of Alabama, which revealed his past alleged harassment of teenage girls and "subsequent efforts to undermine the journalism that exposed it.”
Reuters won the prize for international reporting for its articles on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Filipinos.
The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network won the explanatory reporting prize for their work on the consequences of President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Southern border. The Cincinnati Enquirer took home the award for local reporting, and was recognized for its continuous coverage of heroin addiction and the devastating effects on the local community.
The national reporting prize was won by New York Times and Washington Post reporters, both for their “deeply sourced” coverage of allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
Freelancers Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan received the editorial cartooning award for their comic series “Welcome to the New World” in The New York Times, which detailed the story of a struggling refugee family who feared deportation. For breaking news photography, Ryan Kelly, a photographer for The Daily Progress, won for a “chilling” photo of a car running into counterprotesters at the August riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, a freelancer, won the feature writing award for her GQ profile of Dylann Roof, the mass murderer responsible for the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. John Archibald of the Alabama Media Group took home the commentary award, and Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine won the award for criticism. Andie Dominick of the Des Moines Register received the editorial award.
Andrew Sean Greer received the award for fiction for his novel “Less,” about aging and the “essential nature of love,” Canedy said.
The award for drama went to Martyna Majok for her play “The Cost of Living” and the award for U.S. history went to Jack E. Davis for his nonfiction work “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.” Caroline Fraser took home the award for biography for “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” and Frank Bidart received the award for poetry for his collection of poems called “Half-light.” “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” by James Forman Jr., received the general nonfiction award.
Reuters' photography staff was awarded feature photography for its "shocking" photos of the violence Rohingya refugees have been facing while fleeing Myanmar.
CORRECTION (April 16, 2018, 11:07 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Ryan Kelly, who won a Pulitzer for breaking news photography. Although he is now a freelance photographer, at the time he took the winning photo, he worked for The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Virginia.