Florida paper wins public-service Pulitzer for Parkland shooting coverage

The South Florida Sun Sentinel, based in Fort Lauderdale, won the Pulitzer Prize public-service medal for its coverage of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and its follow-up reporting about local officials' actions before and after the killing of 17 students and staff members at the school. The public-service award is considered the most prestigious in the 14 journalism categories.

Two other mass shootings figured in the Pulitzer awards as well. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won in the breaking-news category for its coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue shootings last year. The Pulitzer board also awarded a special citation to the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., where five staff members were killed by a gunman in June.

Washington Post critic Carlos Lozada says he likes to stay close to the news in selecting the nonfiction books he reviews. So, during 2018, he reviewed many of the books published about perhaps the newsiest subject of all: President Donald Trump.

On Monday, the jurors of the Pulitzer Prize offered their own review of Lozada's insights about Trump and the cultural milieu he has fostered. They named Lozada the winner of the Pulitzer for criticism, bestowing journalism's highest honor on him for his perspectives on politics and the presidency. It was one of several Pulitzers awarded Monday for journalism that examined Trump's past and present and his impact on American society.

Lozada, 47, thus joins a long line of Post writers who have won the criticism award. Post critics have previously been recognized for their critiques of art, architecture, dance, television, movies, fashion, classical music and photography. Lozada was the third Post book critic to win the award since the criticism category was created in 1970.

Two other journalists affiliated with The Post were also cited by the Pulitzer judges for their work during 2018. Lorenzo Tugnoli, a freelance photographer, won in the feature photography category for his stark and gripping portfolio of images from war-torn Yemen that were commissioned and published by The Post. Darrin Bell, a cartoonist best known for his comic strip "Candorville," won for editorial cartoons about Trump and other topics. Bell's editorial cartoons were distributed to newspapers through The Washington Post Writers Group, the newspaper's syndication arm, through last August.

Journalists at The New York Times received two awards. Opinion columnist Brent Staples, who wrote powerfully about African American history and connected it to contemporary race relations, was awarded the prize in editorial writing. A team of three reporters - David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner - were cited in the explanatory-reporting category for their extensive and revealing investigation of Trump's inheritance from his father and his "suspect" tax strategies. Barstow, the lead reporter on the project, has now won or shared a Pulitzer four times and been a finalist on three other occasions.

Reuters' awards were in the breaking-news photography category, for documenting the journey of Central American migrants to the United States, and for international reporting, for accounts of a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The latter articles landed their principal reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, in prison, sparking an international outcry. Reuters shared the international-reporting prize with a team from the Associated Press for its coverage of the war in Yemen.

Continuing the Trump-centric theme, a team of Wall Street Journal reporters was awarded the national reporting prize for scoops about Trump attorney Michael Cohen's hush-money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to suppress her account of an alleged sexual relationship with Trump.

The Post's reporting and opinion columns about the killing of one of its own contributing columnists, Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, was a finalist for the public-service medal, one of three Post entries to earn finalist status. The others were opinion writer and editor Elizabeth Bruenig's account of the aftermath of a sexual assault at her high school in 2006 (in the feature-writing category) and The Post's series on neighborhoods across the country where homicides are clustered but arrests are rare (in explanatory reporting).

The Los Angeles Times won the award for investigative reporting for articles documenting the alleged abuse of hundreds of patients by a gynecologist, George Tyndall, who was employed by the University of Southern California.

Pulitzer winners receive $15,000, except the public-service winner, which receives a gold medal. The awards are administered by Columbia University.




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