National Reporting winner
Shortly after the Iowa caucuses, David Fahrenthold set out to learn what had become of the $6 million Donald Trump said he’d raised for veterans, including $1 million of his own money. Fahrenthold soon discovered that the candidate had stopped distributing money, despite having given out just a fraction of what he raised. That was the start of a much longer reporting effort, one that eventually expanded to cover all of Trump’s charitable giving — and the illusions he’d created, over his lifetime, that made his philanthropy seem more impressive than it was. His work also included an article disclosing that Trump had made crude comments and bragged about groping women during an unaired portion of an interview on “Access Hollywood” in 2005.
Pioneering a new form of investigative reporting, Fahrenthold invited his Twitter followers to help him report these stories, asking for help in tracking down details of Trump’s past giving — or items that Trump had bought, improperly, with his charity’s money. He posted
photographs of his reporter’s notebook on Twitter, signaling the lengths he’d gone to and asking readers to suggest more charities to call. The run of coverage benefited greatly from the work of Post researcher Alice Crites and reporter Rosalind S. Helderman.
Feature Writing finalist
Eli Saslow is a finalist for the Pulitzer for Feature Writing for five stories that exposed deep discontent in the pockets of America where grievance, anger and despair had taken root and were flourishing in historic ways. The stories explain in the most visceral way the furies and hopes of an electorate that helped determine the election of 2016, with an emphasis on white Americans who formed the bruised core of Donald Trump’s support. This is Saslow’s second time as a finalist for Feature Writing. He won the 2014 Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting.
Editorial Writing finalist
Fred Hiatt is a finalist for Editorial Writing for a series of editorials underlining the view that a Donald Trump presidency would represent a unique and present danger. Beginning in the first half of 2015, and continuing through and beyond the election, Hiatt forcefully defended core American values, argued against the “normalization” of lies and bigotry, and laid down a marker that will be used to judge a Trump administration and those who support it.