The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Friday to news organizations that covered in depth the dramatic turning points of 2020, a year dominated by a pandemic that claimed millions of lives and a national conversation about the race following the murder of George Floyd.
The public service award, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, went to the New York Times for its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, an award shared by many departments of the newspaper.
Pulitzer’s board of directors also recognized journalism that examined law enforcement practices during a year of street protests around the world inspired, in part, by the murder of Mr. Floyd, a black man, by a policeman in Minneapolis.
The National Reporting Award went to The Marshall Project, AL.com, IndyStar and Invisible Institute for a collaborative investigation into police dogs used as weapons, often against innocent citizens, reporting that led to government reforms.
The Tampa Bay Times won the Local Reporting Award for exposing a data-driven police initiative in Pasco County, Florida that intimidated and harassed local residents and labeled some school children as future criminals.
Staff at the Minneapolis Star Tribune took home the award in the breaking news category for their coverage of Mr. Floyd’s murder and the reverberations that lasted for months afterward.
BuzzFeed News won its first Pulitzer, in the international reporting category, for its series of investigations into the extent of the internment in China of Uyghurs, a majority Muslim minority.
The Times won a second Pulitzer in honor of his 2020 critical work, an honor that has gone to Wesley Morris, a general reviewer who writes on a wide range of topics, often emphasizing the contributions of black artists to American culture. It was the second Pulitzer for Mr. Morris, who won the critical category for his Boston Globe essays in 2012.
The council also announced that Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed Mr Floyd’s murder, will receive a special citation.
The Pulitzer Prizes, first awarded in 1917 and presented annually by Columbia University for excellence in journalism, books, music and theater, were announced via live video by the co-chairs of the Board of Trustees of Pulitzer, Mindy Marqués González and Stephen Engelberg.
Board leaders noted that journalists encountered unusual challenges last year while working remotely, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and sometimes faced dangers, often from police, while covering street protests.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.