NEW YORK, April 18 (UPI) — December’s San Bernardino terrorist attacks, increasingly scrutinized shooting deaths involving police officers, and an eye-opening investigation into slave labor in Southeast Asia were news events which won three news organizations journalism’s highest awards Monday.
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on Monday afternoonannounced the winners of the annual Pulitzer Prize awards for coverage in 2015.
The prize for public service in journalism, arguably the highest honor, was awarded to the Associated Press for a series of investigative reports on slave labor practices in the fishing and seafood industry of Southeast Asia.
The AP was selected over two finalists in that category — The Tampa Bay Times and InsideClimate News for their coverage of education and climate change scandals, respectively. The prize was the 52nd Pulitzer for the AP.
The Washington Post won its 49th Pulitzer, for national reporting, for its coverage of police officer involved shootings in the United States. Staff at ProPublica and a writer for The Huffington post were finalists for the award.
The staff of the Los Angeles Times won for breaking news reporting for its coverage of the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terrorist shootings. The award is the Times’ 42nd Pulitzer and its first since 2011. The staffs of The Baltimore Sun and The Post and Courier were the category’s other two finalists.
“This prize belongs to the entire newsroom,” Times editor and publisher Davan Maharaj said Monday.
The New York Times’ Alissa J. Rubin won the Pulitzer for international reporting.
Columbia’s award for investigative reporting went to Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, who collaborated for coverage of a scandal involving Florida mental health institutions and how they are being handled by state officials.
“A stellar example of collaborative reporting by two news organizations that revealed escalating violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals and laid the blame at the door of state officials,” Pulitzer administrators noted in giving the award.
The prize for breaking news photography was awarded to Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of The New York Times for photographic coverage of the migrant crisis in Europe — news which also earned the photography staff at Thomson Reuters a prize Monday.
For the arts, Joby Warrick won an award for nonfiction for “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS”; William Finnegan (biography) for “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life”; Viet Nguyen (fiction) for “The Sympathizer”; and Lin-Manuel Miranda (drama) for “Hamilton.”