- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

The 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, and the judges’ comments:

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JOURNALISM

- Public Service: The Guardian US and The Washington Post for the revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency. The committee cited the Post for authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security. It cited The Guardian US for aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy. Finalists: Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., for its use of in-depth reporting and digital tools to expose shootings, beatings and other concealed misconduct by some Long Island police officers, leading to the formation of a grand jury and an official review of police accountability.

- Breaking News Reporting: The Boston Globe staff for its exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that enveloped the city, using photography and a range of digital tools to capture the full impact of the tragedy. Finalists: The Arizona Republic staff for its compelling coverage of a fast-moving wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters and destroyed more than a hundred homes, using an array of journalistic tools to tell the story; and The Washington Post staff for its alert, in-depth coverage of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, employing a mix of platforms to tell a developing story with accuracy and sensitivity.

- Investigative Reporting: Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., for his reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease, resulting in remedial legislative efforts. Finalists: Megan Twohey of Reuters for her exposure of an underground Internet marketplace where parents could bypass social welfare regulations and get rid of children they had adopted overseas but no longer wanted, the stories triggering governmental action to curb the practice; and Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee for their probe of a Las Vegas mental hospital that used commercial buses to “dump” more than 1,500 psychiatric patients in 48 states over five years, reporting that brought an end to the practice and the firing of hospital employees.

- Explanatory Reporting: Eli Saslow of The Washington Post, for his unsettling and nuanced reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America, forcing readers to grapple with issues of poverty and dependency. Finalists: Dennis Overbye of The New York Times for his authoritative illumination of the race by two competing teams of 3,000 scientists and technicians over a seven-year period to discover what physicists call the “God particle.”; and Les Zaitz of The Oregonian, Portland, for chilling narratives that, at personal risk to him and his sources, revealed how lethal Mexican drug cartels infiltrated Oregon and other regions of the country.

- Local Reporting: Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times for their relentless investigation into the squalid conditions that marked housing for the city’s substantial homeless population, leading to swift reforms. Finalists: Joan Garrett McClane, Todd South, Doug Strickland and Mary Helen Miller of the Chattanooga Times Free Press for using an array of journalistic tools to explore the “no-snitch” culture that helps perpetuate a cycle of violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the South; and Rebecca O’Brien and Thomas Mashberg of The Record, Woodland Park, N.J., for their jarring exposure of how heroin has permeated the suburbs of northern New Jersey, profiling addicts and anguished families and mapping the drug pipeline from South America to their community.

- National Reporting: David Philipps of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., for expanding the examination of how wounded combat veterans are mistreated, focusing on loss of benefits for life after discharge by the Army for minor offenses, stories augmented with digital tools and stirring congressional action. Finalists: John Emshwiller and Jeremy Singer-Vine of The Wall Street Journal for their reports and searchable database on the nation’s often overlooked factories and research centers that once produced nuclear weapons and now pose contamination risks; and Jon Hilsenrath of The Wall Street Journal for his exploration of the Federal Reserve, a powerful but little understood national institution.

- International Reporting: Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters for their courageous reports on the violent persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar that, in efforts to flee the country, often falls victim to predatory human-trafficking networks. Finalists: Rukmini Callimachi of The Associated Press for her discovery and fearless exploration of internal documents that shattered myths and deepened understanding of the global terrorist network of al-Qaida; and Raja Abdulrahim and Patrick McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times for their vivid coverage of the Syrian civil war, showing at grave personal risk how both sides of the conflict contribute to the bloodshed, fear and corruption that define daily life.

- Feature Writing: No award. Finalists: Scott Farwell of The Dallas Morning News for his story about a young woman’s struggle to live a normal life after years of ghastly child abuse, an examination of human resilience in the face of depravity; Christopher Goffard of the Los Angeles Times for his account of an ex-police officer’s nine-day killing spree in Southern California, notable for its pacing, character development and rich detail; and Mark Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his meticulously told tale about a group of first-year medical students in their gross anatomy class and the relationships they develop with one another and the nameless corpse on the table, an account enhanced by multimedia elements.

- Commentary: Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press for his columns on the financial crisis facing his hometown, written with passion and a stirring sense of place, sparing no one in the critique. Finalists: Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe for his street-wise local columns that capture the spirit of a city, especially after its famed marathon was devastated by terrorist bombings; and Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle for her provocative metro columns written from the perspective of a sixth-generation Texan, often challenging the powerful and giving voice to the voiceless.

- Criticism: Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer for her criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise. Finalists: Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times for her trenchant and witty television criticism, engaging readers through essays and reviews that feature a conversational style and the force of fresh ideas; and Jen Graves of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly, for her visual arts criticism that, with elegant and vivid description, informs readers about how to look at the complexities of contemporary art and the world in which it’s made.

- Editorial Writing: Editorial staff of The Oregonian, Portland, for its lucid editorials that explain the urgent but complex issue of rising pension costs, notably engaging readers and driving home the link between necessary solutions and their impact on everyday lives. Finalists: Dante Ramos of The Boston Globe for his evocative editorials urging Boston to become a more modern, around-the-clock city by shedding longtime restrictions and removing bureaucratic obstacles that can sap its vitality; and Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register for her diligent editorials challenging Iowa’s arcane licensing laws that regulate occupations ranging from cosmetologists to dentists and often protect practitioners more than the public.

- Editorial Cartooning: Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer for his thought-provoking cartoons drawn with a sharp wit and bold artistic style. Finalists: David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times for his wide ranging cartoons that blend skillful caricature with irreverence, causing readers both to laugh and think; and Pat Bagley of The Salt Lake Tribune for his adroit use of images and words that cut to the core of often emotional issues for his readership.

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