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Entertainment 2018 Pulitzer prize Winners


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Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." play

Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN."


The New York Times

For reporting led by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt

The New Yorker

For reporting by Ronan Farrow

Investigations by The New York Times and Ronan Farrow, 30, of The New Yorker that revealed allegations of sexual harassment and the subsequent silencing of the victims helped topple powerful men — including in Hollywood, politics and Silicon Valley — and prompted a wave of women to share their experiences with abuse. Reporting on accusations against Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host, and Harvey Weinstein, the film mogul, inspired the global #MeToo movement that has opened new conversations about gender and power dynamics in the workplace.

Finalist: The Kansas City Star


Staff of The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California

The entire staff at The Press Democrat helped cover the wildfires in October that devastated Santa Rosa and surrounding Sonoma County. “Because we live here and we know, we felt it necessary to be scrupulous,” said Catherine Barnett, the paper’s executive editor. “And we just got out and gave it all we had.” Barnett said some of the paper’s reporters and photographers were evacuating their families even as they chronicled the fires.

Finalists: Staff of the Houston Chronicle; Staff of The New York Times


Staff of The Washington Post

The Washington Post won for its dogged reporting on Republican Senate candidate Roy S. Moore and how he made unwanted sexual advances toward underage girls when he was in his 30s. The resulting stories helped upend an Alabama special election, which was won by Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

Finalists: Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of The Miami Herald; Tim Eberly of The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia


Staffs of The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network

The organizations were awarded the prize for a multimedia project that focused on the “difficulties and unintended consequences of fulfilling President Trump’s pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico,” the Pulitzer committee said. The series of stories had a robust digital presence that included text, video, podcasts and even virtual reality.

Finalists: Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times; Staff of ProPublica


Staff of The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Enquirer was recognized for its multimedia narrative of seven days inside the city’s heroin epidemic, a period in which 18 people died and at least 180 overdoses were reported across the area. “What we wanted to do was to let our communities here know what people are living every single day,” said Terry DeMio, one of the project’s lead reporters.

More than 60 reporters contributed. “This was the most local news story you can imagine,” said Dan Horn, co-author of the main article with DeMio. “Everyone was involved in some way, shape or form.”

Finalists: Jason Grotto, Sandhya Kambhampati and Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois; Staff of The Boston Globe


Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post

The organizations were recognized for their reporting on Russia’s influence in the 2016 election, the Trump transition team and the presidential administration. The winning pieces included a report in The Post that Attorney General Sessions had spoken to Russia’s U.S. ambassador during the presidential campaign, contradicting his confirmation hearing testimony, and a report in The Times that President Donald Trump asked James Comey, then the FBI’s director, to end an inquiry into Michael Flynn.

Finalists: Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Brett Murphy of USA Today Network


Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato, Reuters

The three journalists were honored for their work in the Philippines, exposing the “brutal killing campaign” behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Through crime data and interviews, the reporters challenged official accounts about the killing of drug suspects in the country. “We basically used the police’s own data to prove exactly what they were doing,” said Baldwin, 34. She said the award, shared with Marshall, 50, and Mogato, was a “huge honor” and that she hoped it would draw more attention to the ongoing killings.

Finalists: Staff of The Associated Press; Staff of BuzzFeed News


Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

Freelance reporter, GQ

Ghansah’s portrait of Dylann Roof was cited for its “unique and powerful mix of reportage, first-person reflection and analysis of the historical and cultural forces” behind his murder of nine parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. It was the first Pulitzer for GQ magazine. Ghansah, 36, said that she initially thought her piece would be centered on the victims’ families but that “it felt inappropriate to keep probing them while allowing Dylann Roof to have the sanctity of silence we often afford white domestic terrorists.” Ghansah, an essayist, added that she wanted to honor them “very, very much.”

Finalists: John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post; Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times


John Archibald

Alabama Media Group, Birmingham, Alabama

Archibald, 55, was cited for “lyrical and courageous commentary” that focused on issues in Alabama but had a wide resonance, like Confederate monuments. In a series of columns, he also wrestled with the failed Senate campaign of Roy S. Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women yet enjoyed significant support at home and from the Republican Party. “Even though it was just a small squeaker win” for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, Archibald said, “it was a message to women that this can’t be tolerated anymore.”

Finalists: Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker; Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times


Jerry Saltz

New York magazine

Saltz, 67, was cited for his “canny and often daring perspective on visual art in America,” including analyses of the political undercurrents in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the lasting influence of Michelangelo, as well as an unflinching look at his own career as a “failed artist.”

Finalists: Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post; Manohla Dargis of The New York Times


Andie Dominick

The Des Moines Register

Dominick was cited for examining the consequences of Iowa’s Medicaid privatization, as well as the broader health care challenges mounting for regular Iowans, “in a clear, indignant voice, free of cliché or sentimentality.” Dominick, who was a Pulitzer finalist in 2014, told her newsroom colleagues that she hoped her paper would “continue to work to make Iowa a better place to live.”

Finalists: Editorial Staff of The New York Times; Sharon Grigsby of The Dallas Morning News


Jack E. Davis

“The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea”

The Gulf of Mexico is the world’s 10th-largest body of water. But until Davis’ book, which traces its history from the Pleistocene to the present, it had never gotten a comprehensive history, the committee noted in its citation. Davis, 61, a professor at the University of Florida (and a near-lifelong Gulfsider), said that the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010 had helped shape his mission: to restore “the true identity of the Gulf.”

“I wanted to show that it was more than an oil spill, or a sunning beach,” he said. “It has a really wonderful, complex history that has been left out of the broader American narrative.”

Finalists: “Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics,” by Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books); “Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America,” by Steven J. Ross (Bloomsbury)


Andrew Sean Greer


The protagonist of Greer’s novel is Arthur Less, a novelist on the verge of 50 who, feeling the humiliations of life and career, reluctantly accepts invitations to a string of disastrous literary events. His travels, filled with comic and poignant incident, take him to New York, Paris, Berlin, Morocco, southern India and Kyoto, Japan. In The New York Times Book Review, Christopher Buckley called “Less” the “funniest, smartest and most humane” novel he had read in years. Greer, 47, is the author of six works of fiction, including “The Confessions of Max Tivoli” and “The Story of a Marriage.”

Finalists: “In the Distance,” by Hernan Diaz (Coffee House Press); “The Idiot,” by Elif Batuman (Penguin Press)


Martyna Majok

“Cost of Living”

Majok, 33, a Polish immigrant who saw her first theater show at 17 after winning $45 from playing pool, initially wrote this as a short work called “John, Who’s Here From Cambridge.” It evolved to its finished form and opened off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club last June. The play received plaudits for its striking portrait of the obstacles that come with having a physical disability and privilege that exists in unexpected places.

Finalists: “Everybody,” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; “The Minutes,” by Tracy Letts


Caroline Fraser

“Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

The committee cited Fraser, 57, for “a deeply researched and elegantly written portrait” showing how Wilder, the author of the “Little House on the Prairie” books, “transformed her family’s story of poverty, failure and struggle into an uplifting tale of self-reliance, familial love and perseverance.” Fraser, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said that she had adored the books as a child, but came to appreciate the sweeping and much darker history behind them.

Finalists: “Richard Nixon: The Life,” by John A. Farrell (Doubleday); “Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character,” by Kay Redfield Jamison (Alfred A. Knopf)


Frank Bidart

“Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016”

After the publication of Bidart’s previous book, “Metaphysical Dog” (2013), agent Andrew Wylie told him he should publish a career-spanning collection. “That idea pleased me,” Bidart, 78, said, “but I don’t know that I would have had the guts to do it without his suggestion.”

“Half-Light” also won a National Book Award and Bidart can’t help but see the awards as an endorsement of his long career. “Two of my closest poet friends — Robert Lowell died at 60 and Elizabeth Bishop died at 68,” he said. “None of this would have happened if I had died at their age. I’m just damn lucky.”

Finalists: “Incendiary Art,” by Patricia Smith (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press); “semiautomatic,” by Evie Shockley (Wesleyan University Press)


James Forman Jr.

“Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America”

Forman’s book looked at how real-time responses to crises in black communities beginning in the late 1960s helped unintentionally lead to mass incarceration. Forman, 50, took about four years to research the book, but felt the first stirrings of it while working as a public defender in Washington, D.C.

Finalists: “Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-America World,” by Suzy Hansen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); “The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us,” by Richard O. Prum (Doubleday)


Kendrick Lamar


Lamar’s fourth LP topped the charts while also tackling thorny personal and political issues, including race, faith and the burdens of commercial success. The Pulitzer board called it “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”

Finalists: “Quartet,” by Michael Gilbertson; “Sound From the Bench,” by Ted Hearne


Ryan Kelly

Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Virginia

Kelly, 31, was recognized for his swift and precise work during a white nationalist rally in August in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he photographed a car plowing through a crowd of people protesting the gathering. One woman, Heather Heyer, died as 16 others were injured. It was Kelly’s final assignment as a staff photographer for the Daily Progress. He now lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he is a freelance photographer.

Finalist: Ivor Prickett, freelance photographer, The New York Times


Photography Staff of Reuters

Reuters was cited for its “shocking photographs” of Rohingya refugees as they escaped persecution in Myanmar to reach the Bangladesh border. “All the talent we had we directed to this story because it’s such an important story for the world to know,” said Ahmad Masood, editor of pictures for Reuters. Working around visa restrictions, Masood assigned over a dozen photographers from around the world to cover the Rohingya’s struggles in shifts. There were often three photographers at a time chronicling the thousands of refugees crossing the border by land and sea.

Finalists: Kevin Frayer, freelance photographer, Getty Images; Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News; Meridith Kohut, freelance photographer, The New York Times


Jake Halpern, freelance writer, and Michael Sloan, freelance cartoonist

The New York Times

In “Welcome to the New World,” Halpern and Sloan told the story of the families of two Syrian brothers who came to the United States on Nov. 8, 2016. The 20-part nonfiction comic series was based on months of reporting, but Halpern suggested that some of its most powerful moments were frames that contained no words.

Finalists: Mark Fiore, freelance cartoonist; Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press

THE NEW YORK TIMES © 2018 The New York Times

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