Reuters and New York Times win Pulitzers for coverage of racial injustice, COVID-19 – –

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Reuters and New York Times win Pulitzers for coverage of racial injustice, COVID-19 – –


Reuters and the Minneapolis Star Tribune each won a Pulitzer Prize Friday for racial inequality journalism in the US police force, while the New York Times and the Atlantic were honored for chronicling the COVID-19 pandemic , the two topics that dominated the headlines last year.

The Star Tribune won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for its breaking news reporting on what the board called its “urgent, authoritative and nuanced” coverage of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police last May, while that Reuters and Atlantic shared the price for explanatory report.

The Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious awards in American journalism and have been awarded since 1917, when newspaper editor Joseph Pulitzer created them as part of a bequest to Columbia University in New York in his will.

In 2020, “news organizations across the country faced the complexity of sequentially covering a global pandemic, racial calculation and a hotly contested presidential election,” said Mindy Marques, co-chair of the Pulitzer board of directors, during the announcement ceremony, which was broadcast online. .

The board cited Reuters reporters Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts for the “pioneering data analysis” of their “Shielded” series, which showed how obscure legal doctrine from “Qualified immunity” protected the police who use excessive prosecution force.

Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement that the series has shaped the debate over U.S. police reform.

“In a year of tumultuous protests against the police killings of black Americans, ‘Shielded’ was a work of tremendous moral force on the intractable problem facing the world’s most powerful democracy, the legacy of the ‘racial injustice,’ his statement said.

The Pulitzer Prize for Reuters, a unit of Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO), was the ninth in the newsroom since 2008, and the sixth in the past four years.

The Reuters team shared the explanatory report award with Ed Yong of The Atlantic, who was praised by the board for “a series of lucid and definitive articles on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A UNIQUE CASE

Mary Stewart holds an obituary for her son Luke Stewart, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, November 12, 2020. REUTERS / Megan Jelinger

Reuters’ series of police stories were sparked by a single case – and required lengthy and complex data analysis.

In April 2017, the United States Supreme Court refused to restart the trial of an unarmed suspect accusing a Houston officer of unconstitutional excessive force for shooting him in the back. Reuters Supreme Court reporters Chung and Hurley partnered with data reporters Januta, Dowdell and Botts. They analyzed hundreds of cases and found that since 2005, courts have shown an increasing tendency to grant immunity in cases of excessive force. They then recounted in detail the cases of a series of victims of police violence who had been denied justice even after the courts found that the police had acted too violently.

The first Reuters article was published just weeks before the murder of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in handcuffs as a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck. The report had a wide impact on the national conversation about US police issues.

“The data we provided was cited in almost every major news outlet in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder,” Hurley said, adding that it had also been cited in court records and unofficially by judges.

SPECIAL QUOTE

Many of the 2021 Pulitzer Prizes were spent covering the police and the global protest movement that erupted after Floyd’s murder: The Associated Press won the News Photography Award for its footage of the protests, while Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times won for editorial writing for his work on bail reform and prisons.

The board also said it was awarding a “special citation” to Darnella Frazier, the teenage viewer who recorded video of Floyd’s murder on her cell phone, which it said underscored “the crucial role of citizens. in journalists’ quest for truth and justice ”.

The New York Times won the honor of public service journalism, often considered the most coveted of the 22 awards, for its “premonitory and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.” The Boston Globe won the award for investigative reporting for uncovering a systematic failure of state governments to share information about unsafe truck drivers who could have kept them from driving.

Friday’s price announcement, valued at $ 15,000 each, had been postponed from April amid the pandemic. The awards luncheon, which normally takes place shortly thereafter at Columbia University, has been postponed until the fall.

The Pulitzer Board also recognizes achievements in seven categories in the arts and awarded its Fiction Prize to Louise Erdrich for her novel “The Night Watchman” on an effort to displace Native American tribes in the 1950s.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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