The staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, on Monday received a special citation from the committee awarding the Pulitzer Prizes, one of journalism’s highest honors, for its coverage of last year’s mass shooting in their newsroom, which killed five of their colleagues.
The award honors the reporters’ “unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief,” and the newsroom will receive $100,000 “to further the newspaper’s journalistic mission.”
Several other news outlets also won awards for their coverage of mass shootings in their communities. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel won the award for Public Service, in honor of its coverage exposing bureaucratic failings before and after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year.
“Feeling overwhelmed & grateful. But also sad that we won the greatest journalism award — the Pulitzer — because of a tragedy that never should happened,” Sun-Sentinel reporter Scott Travis tweeted Monday.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won the breaking news award for its coverage of the October shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, which “captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief,” the committee said in its citation.
And the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s student newspaper, the Eagle Eye, received a shoutout during Monday’s awards announcement.
Other awards included prizes for The New York Times team investigating President Donald Trump’s questionable business practices and tax evasion; and The Wall Street Journal’s reporting on Trump authorizing his former lawyer Michael Cohen to violate campaign finance laws by paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who alleged extramarital affairs with the then-presidential candidate, the subject of several federal investigations.
In the international reporting category, the committee honored the Associated Press reporters investigating Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s vicious war on drugs and extrajudicial killings.
They shared the prize with international reporters at Reuters, including Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been imprisoned for their coverage of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
The late singer Aretha Franklin also received a special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.”