Washington Post’s 2018 Pulitzer Prizes for Roy Moore investigation, Russia reporting

Story by

The Washington Post staff won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for revelations about U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and shared the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Reporter John Woodrow Cox was a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist for feature writing, and nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada was a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist for criticism.

Read the work of The Post’s winners and finalists below.

Leigh Corfman, left, in a photo from 1979, when she was about 14. At right, from top, Wendy Miller around age 16, Debbie Wesson Gibson around age 17 and Gloria Thacker Deason around age 18. (Family photos).

The Washington Post staff

Investigative reporting winner

By revealing secrets held for decades, a single story upends what was expected to be a predictable Senate race. Efforts to discredit the reporting are exposed.

For nearly 40 years, the stories of six women from Alabama remained a secret. But on Nov. 9, through dogged, meticulous reporting, four women’s on-the-record accounts of how Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s were finally told. Two more soon followed. The shocking revelations instantly upended the Senate race in Alabama and made it one of the biggest political stories of the year.

The string of groundbreaking stories, beginning with the investigative report on Moore’s undisclosed compensation arrangement at the charity he founded, led to hundreds upon hundreds of letters from grateful readers. The story exposing a Project Veritas operation to discredit The Post’s reporting, in particular, seemed to touch a nerve. Readers, other journalists and public officials of both parties thanked The Post for demonstrating the standards and discipline that make journalism possible and for shining a light on forces that are eroding honest discourse.

An exchange between Post reporter Aaron Davis and James O’Keefe of Project Veritas. (Dalton Bennett/The Washington Post)

Moore accused of touching teen girl
Two more women accuse Moore of pursuing them
Post was approached with false claim about Moore
Video: Post reporter confronts woman who made false accusations against Roy Moore
Endeavor to infiltrate The Post dated back months
Video: From #MAGA to JFK: A social media transformation
Charity quietly paid Roy Moore
Woman shares new evidence of relationship with Roy Moore when she was 17

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned Feb. 13. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post staff

National reporting winner, shared with the New York Times

The Post’s revelatory examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible links between the Trump campaign and Kremlin agents, and the U.S. response.

In one exclusive report after another, all deeply sourced and later verified by administration admissions or sworn testimony to Congress, The Post led the way on the fallout from Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Trump administration’s efforts to control the narrative and the focus of the special counsel investigation, including the stunning fact, first reported by The Post, that President Trump was under investigation for obstruction of justice.

The Post — which first reported in the summer of 2016 that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee — also conducted an unflinching autopsy in 2017 of the Obama administration’s faltering response to the Russian interference as the Kremlin campaign unfolded. In a 7,000-word piece, drawing on months of reporting and interviews with three dozen officials, readers were taken deep inside the government’s decision-making in response to Moscow’s operation. A parallel investigation of the Trump administration demonstrated how toxic the subject of Russia’s role in 2016 had become inside the White House and exposed the unaddressed vulnerabilities the country may face in 2018 and 2020.

From a story on the Obama administration’s faltering response to Russian interference.

Officials say Flynn discussed sanctions
White House received warning about Flynn
FBI was to pay author of Trump dossier
Sessions spoke twice to Russian envoy
Trump reveals secret intelligence to Russians
President asked intelligence chiefs to deny collusion
Trump’s actions now a focus of Mueller inquiry
Hacking Democracy: Obama’s secret struggle to retaliate 
against Putin’s election assault
Trump crafted son’s statement on Russian contact
Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked

John Woodrow Cox (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

John Woodrow Cox

Feature Writing finalist

Every day in America, children are shot, or see others shot, or lose loved ones to guns. The Post’s John Woodrow Cox shows how children experience gun violence.

When John Woodrow Cox set out to explore gun violence from the perspective of children seared by it, his subjects’ age made the stories very challenging to report. But Cox proved a master at persuading parents to give permission and at persuading school, law enforcement and medical personnel to cooperate as well. Then he made the kids comfortable with opening up.

The results of his extraordinary access — from a 4-year-old shot in his car seat in Cleveland to a troubled 15-year-old committing an apparent suicide by cop in Virginia — are haunting and revelatory.

His series won the 2018 Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for in-depth, human interest reporting, the 2018 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma and the 2018 Ernie Pyle Human Interest Storytelling Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Carter Hill (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
Ava Olsen (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
Gianna and Natalia Baca (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
Tyshaun McPhatter (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
Clockwise from top left: Carter Hill, Ava Olsen, Gianna and Natalia Baca, and Tyshaun McPhatter. (Photos by Ricky Carioti and Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Twelve seconds of gunfire
• ‘Did your father die?
Children under fire
• ‘I want it to stop
After the carnage: The wounds they carry

Carlos Lozada (Julia Ewan/The Washington Post)

Carlos Lozada

Criticism finalist

In innovative, dazzling essays, Carlos Lozada mines a wealth of works to give new insights into the forces shaping the Trump era.

The presidency of Donald Trump — with its frantic pace and busted norms, its Day One resistance and die-hard base — demands clear-eyed interpretation beyond the rush of news. With authority and immediacy, The Washington Post’s nonfiction critic uses books to grapple with the challenges of governance and coexistence that the Trump era is unleashing.

Rather than remain hostage to the latest titles, Lozada dives into decades-old works to find the forces and contradictions shaping this moment. He explores the writings of key administration officials, using their own words to redefine them. In ambitious and innovative essays, Lozada wrestles with multiple books and writers at once, ranging across military history, psychology, feminism and biography to reveal how the Trump era is upending politics, race, sex, culture and the very meaning of America.

Lozada became The Post’s nonfiction book critic in 2015, and in 2016, he received the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing for his essays and reviews on politics, race and sexuality.

Illustration by Curt Merlo for The Washington Post

Trump’s presidency,
 Huntington’s America
Worried about Trump’s America, forgetting Trump’s Americans
When women dare to step out of place
H.R. McMaster and the duty of dereliction
The presidency in scandal
Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America?
Here’s the very last thing about privilege you’ll ever need to read
The alt-right is here to stay. Get used to it, normies. How racist trolls will upend America, with or without Trump
Obama’s calculated life
Writing about how sad you felt on election night isn’t resistance. It’s self-indulgence.


News story: The Post wins 2 Pulitzer Prizes for reporting on Russian interference and Alabama Senate race

2017: Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold wins Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Trump’s charitable giving

2016: Washington Post wins Pulitzer Prize for police shootings coverage

Credits: Story by Washington Post Staff.