New York : The New York Times and The New Yorker were jointly awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their revelations of sexual harassment and abuse that continued unheeded and unpunished in Hollywood, politics, the media and Silicon Valley, the media reported.
Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy announced the 2018 winners at the Columbia University in New York on Monday. The Pulitzer board cited revelations in The New York Times about the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, whose history of settlements over harassment allegations had done little to affect his career as the king of cable news. After articles by The Times’s Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt, O’Reilly was ousted by Fox News last year.
The board also recognized investigations into the film mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose predations of women – and extensive efforts to cover up his behaviour – were exposed in The New York Times by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and in The New Yorker by contributing editor Ronan Farrow.
Farrow’s first article, a 7,000-word investigation published five days later after The New York Times’ report, disclosed the first accusations of rape and sexual assault against Weinstein.
His subsequent articles exposed additional rape and harassment allegations and also Weinstein’s use of private investigative firms and the National Enquirer to compile dossiers and track women and journalists.
Famed personalities, including the comedian Louis C.K. and the chef Mario Batali, saw their careers derailed after women came forward with allegations of misconduct.
“By revealing secret settlements, persuading victims to speak and bringing powerful men to account, we spurred a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse that only seems to be growing,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The new York Times, told hundreds of journalists who had gathered in the daily’s Manhattan newsroom on Monday for the Pulitzer announcements.
The New Yorker’s staff writer Jelani Cobb was also honoured as a finalist for commentary for his columns sounding the alarm on devastating attacks on civil rights during the first year of the Trump Administration.
The New York Times received three awards in all, including the prize for editorial cartooning – a first for the paper – for a series that chronicled a Syrian refugee family’s entry into the US.
The public service prize was the sixth time The Times has received the prestigious award in the more than century-long history of the Pulitzers.
The Pulitzer for investigative reporting was awarded to The Washington Post for its expose of Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, whose bid for higher office was upended after the daily uncovered that he had groped and harassed multiple women, one as young as 14.
Presidential politics figured in the prizes for explanatory reporting, given to The Arizona Republic and the USA Today Network.
GQ magazine won this year’s feature writing prize for a searing profile by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston in 2015.
In the artistic categories, the award for fiction went to “Less,” by Andrew Sean Greer, a globe-trotting chronicle of an aging novelist confronting middle age, career disappointments and travails in love.
In a surprise pick, rapper Kendrick Lamar received the Pulitzer prize for music for his pointed and defiant album, “DAMN”.
It was the first time that a musician outside the classical discipline or jazz had won the award since it was first handed out in 1943.
The Pulitzers, the most prestigious honours in American journalism, have been awarded since 1917. Public service award winners receive a gold medal, and the other awards carry a prize of $15,000 each.