The big question today was whether the Pulitzer Prize board would support the papers that published Edward Snowden‘s revelations about the National Security Agency’s widespread secret surveillance — which former Vice President Dick Cheney said made him a “traitor.” And the organization did, giving The Guardian and The Washington Post the Public Service award. The Guardian helped to “spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy,” the board said, while the Post “helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”
In the letters and drama prizes: Donna Tartt won the fiction prize for her coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch. The drama award went to Annie Baker’s The Flick, about three employees of a Massachusetts art house movie theater. The biography award went to Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. In general non-fiction, Dan Fagin won for Toms River: A Story Of Science And Salvation, an examination of the links between local water and air pollution and childhood cancers.
In journalism, the prize for breaking news went to The Boston Globe for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity won the investigative reporting award for showing how some doctors and lawyers denied benefits to coal miners with black lung disease. The Washington Post‘s Eli Saslow took the Explanatory Reporting prize for his reports on the prevalence of food stamps. The Tampa Bay Times‘ Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia were recognized for local reporting with their work on homelessness. The National Reporting award went to David Philipps of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, who investigated how wounded combat veterans lost benefits after they were discharged for minor offenses. Reuters’ Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall were honored for international reporting from their reports on the persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar. Detroit Free Press‘ Stephen Henderson won for commentary based on his columns about the financial crisis in his city. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s architecture critic Inga Saffron took the criticism prize. The Oregonian won for editorial writing. The Charlotte Observer‘s Kevin Siers was honored for editorial cartooning. And The New York Times won both photography awards: Tyler Hicks’ images from a terrorist attack at a mall in Kenya won for breaking news, and Josh Haner’s essay about a Boston Marathon bomb victim who lost his legs won for feature photography. There was no award this year for feature writing.