The Pulitzer Prizes were established 103 years ago in order to honor excellence in journalism and the arts. Presented annually by Columbia University, The 2019 winners were announced on Monday, April 15th, as newspapers and online publications around the country were recognized for the achievements regarding reporting and investigating that took place in the last year. Many pieces that were recognized included multiple month coverage, investigation and articles, some lasting up to 18 months. Speaking on both heartbreaking and serious topics, this year’s winners are some of the most deserving.
Staring with the category known as the most prestigious, the ‘South Florida Sun Sentinel’ took home the prize for ‘Public Service’ after writing an extensive exposè focusing on the failings of school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February of 2018. Their articles credit the mistakes to the loss of the 17 lives. After receiving the award, Sun Sentinel reporter Scott Travis wrote on Twitter, “Feeling overwhelmed and grateful. But also sad that we won the greatest journalism award — the Pulitzer — because of a tragedy that never should have happened.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Capital Gazette joined the Sun Sentinel in the group of local newspapers being recognized by the Pulitzer, highlighting the importance of local news sources in communities across America. Nominated for ‘Editorial Writing’ and ‘Breaking News Reporting’, the other two small papers held their own against world renowned publications like ‘The New York Times’, ‘The Washington Post’, ‘The New Yorker’, and ‘The Wall Street Journal’.
Tackling difficult topics like racial discrimination and the history of slavery, President Trump’s family finances, USC’s abusive gynecologist, and the famine taking place in Yemen, the journalists of this generation have helped keep society informed on all the issues we try to ignore. That is why the Pulitzer Prize has become so honored, as it recognizes the most influential writers of today’s publications.