The 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

May 5, 2020, 10:39 a.m.

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced on May 4 in 15 Journalism categories and seven Book, Drama and Music categories. The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were first awarded in 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor in the U.S.

There were a couple firsts in this year's announcement of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. First off, it was done remotely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"It goes without saying that today, we announce the Pulitzer winners in deeply trying times," said Dana Canedy, the administrator of the prizes, from her living room. "Despite relentless assaults on objective truth, coordinated efforts to undermine our nation's free press, and persistent economic headwinds, journalists continue to pursue and deliver essential facts and truths to keep us safe and protect our democracy."

The other new twist was the inaugural award for audio reporting, which went to the staff of the public radio show and podcast, This American Life, along with Los Angeles Times reporter Molly O'Toole and Vice News freelance reporter Emily Green. The winning episode, "The Out Crowd," covered the impact on individuls of President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policies.

The board also awarded a special citation to Ida B. Wells — the journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States.

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On the Arts and Letters side, author Colson Whitehead won his second Pulitzer for his novel, The Nickel Boys. It's based on a real-life Florida reform school where students were physically and sexually abused (Whitehead previously won in 2017 for his book The Underground Railroad). The board awarded the drama prize to Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop — a musical about a gay Black man working as an usher at a Broadway show, writing a musical about a gay Black man working as an usher at a Broadway show.

Journalism

Public Service: The Anchorage Daily News, in collaboration with ProPublica

Breaking News Reporting: The staff of the Louisville Courrier-Journal

Investigative Reporting: Brian M. Rosenthal, The New York Times

Explanatory Reporting: The staff of The Washington Post

Local Reporting: Staff of The Baltimore Sun

National Reporting: T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi, ProPublica and Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times

International Reporting: The staff of the New York Times

Feature Writing: Ben Taub, The New Yorker

Commentary: Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times

Criticism: Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

Editorial Writing: Jeffery Gerritt, Palestine Herald-Press

Editorial Cartooning: Bary Blitt, The New Yorker

Breaking News Photography: The photography staff of Reuters

Feature Photography: Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin, The Associated Press

Audio Reporting: This American Life

Letters, Drama and Music

Drama: A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson

History: Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel

Biography: Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser

Poetry: The Tradition, by Jericho Brown

General Nonfiction: The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer and The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin

Music: The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis

Fiction: The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead

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