The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism Monday for its coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. The Post's extensive reporting, published in a sophisticated interactive series, found numerous problems and failures in political systems and security before, during, and after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in the newspaper's own backyard, the AP reports. The "compellingly told and vividly presented account" gave the public "a thorough and unflinching understanding of one of the nation’s darkest days," said Marjorie Miller, administrator of the prizes, the most most prestigious in American journalism. Five Getty Images photographers won one of the two prizes in breaking news photography for their coverage of the riot.
The other breaking news photography award went to Los Angeles Times correspondent and photographer Marcus Yam, for work related to the fall of Kabul. The prize for feature photography went to Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, Amit Dave and Danish Siddiqui of Reuters for photos of the COVID-19 toll in India. Siddiqui was killed in Afghanistan in July. The US pullout of Afghanistan spanned categories, with The New York Times winning in the international reporting category for coverage challenging official accounts of civilian deaths from US airstrikes in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Pulitzer Prizes also awarded a special citation to journalists of Ukraine, acknowledging their "courage, endurance and commitment" in covering the Russian invasion.
The intersection of health, safety, and infrastructure played a prominent role among the winning projects. The Tampa Bay Times won in investigative reporting for "Poisoned," a look into a polluting lead factory. The Miami Herald took the breaking news award for its work covering the deadly Surfside condo tower collapse, while the Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune won the local reporting award for "Deadly Fires, Broken Promises," the watchdog and newspaper's examination of a lack of enforcement of fire safety standards. The prize for explanatory reporting went to Quanta Magazine, with the board highlighting the work of Natalie Wolchover, for a long-form piece about the James Webb space telescope, a $10 billion engineering effort to gain a better understanding of the origins of the universe.
The New York Times also won in national reporting, for a project about police traffic stops that ended in fatalities, and Salamishah Tillet, a contributing critic-at-large at the Times, won the criticism award. A story that used graphics in comic form to tell the story of Zumrat Dawut, a Uyghur woman who said she was persecuted and detained by the Chinese government as part of systemic abuses against her community, brought the illustrated reporting and commentary prize to Fahmida Azim, Anthony Del Col, Josh Adams, and Walt Hickey of Insider. Jennifer Senior of The Atlantic won for feature writing, for a piece marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks through a family's grief. Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star won for commentary, for columns about a retired police detective accused of sexual abuse and those who said they were assaulted calling for justice. The editorial writing prize went to Lisa Falkenberg, Michael Lindenberger, Joe Holley, and Luis Carrasco of the Houston Chronicle, for a piece that called for voting reforms and exposed voter suppression tactics. (Read more Pulitzer Prize stories.)