2019 Pulitzer Prizes

Winners and finalists from The Washington Post

Pulitzers were awarded for criticism, photography, cartooning; among finalists for feature writing, public service and explanatory reporting
By Washington Post Staff

Carlos Lozada, the nonfiction book critic for The Washington Post, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Lorenzo Tugnoli won a Pulitzer for photographs he took for The Post, and Darrin Bell received a Pulitzer as a cartoonist for The Washington Post Syndicate.

The staff of Washington Post was a finalist in public service for its coverage of the killing of colleague Jamal Khashoggi. A team of Post investigative reporters were finalists for explanatory reporting on a series looking at where killings go unsolved in American cities, and Elizabeth Bruenig, an Opinions columnist, was a finalist for feature writing.

[ More coverage: The Washington Post wins 3 Pulitzer Prizes; Sun Sentinel wins public-service medal for Parkland shooting coverage ]

Collected here are links that were submitted as entries to the Pulitzer board from each of The Post’s winners and finalists.


Carlos Lozada

2019 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

For trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.

The frenzied presidency of Donald Trump has upended countless norms of political and national life. Understanding it requires a critic who can sift through the clashing ideas and agendas, pushing through the noise to find the signal underneath. Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post’s nonfiction book critic, is the interpreter we need.

Rather than remain hostage to the publishing industry with weekly reviews of one-off books, Lozada gathers armfuls of new or related volumes and grasps the themes, arguments and urgency pulsing through them. In ambitious and innovative essays, Lozada ranges across identity politics, diplomatic memoirs, presidential history, campaign war stories, feminist analysis, national security reporting and immigrant memories to probe our national dilemmas.

(Illustration by Wayne Brezinka for The Washington Post)

• In his new book, James Comey calls for ‘ethical leadership.’ But does he live up to it?
• The memoir I wish George H.W. Bush had written
• Amy Chozick covered Hillary Clinton for a decade. Here’s what she learned — and what she endured. 
• Anti-Trump conservatives want to reverse the GOP’s destruction 
• I read six sycophantic pro-Trump books — and then I read Omarosa
• Can truth survive this president? An honest investigation. 
• Show me your identification
• Why women’s rage is healthy, rational and necessary for America
• Who gets to dream? America’s immigration battles go beyond walls and borders.
• The early chapters: Books on the Russia scandal focus on the news. What they need is more history.

Carlos Lozada is the nonfiction book critic for The Washington Post and has previously served as The Post’s Sunday Outlook editor, national security editor and economics editor. He received the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian citation for excellence in reviewing in 2016 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2018.

Before joining The Post in 2005, Lozada was the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine and a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University’s Journalism School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University. For the past decade, he has taught an undergraduate course in political journalism for Notre Dame’s Washington program. Born in Lima, Peru, Lozada immigrated to the United States as a child and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

[ Read more recent work from Lozada here. ]

Lorenzo Tugnoli

2019 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography

For brilliant photo storytelling of the tragic famine in Yemen, shown through images in which beauty and composure are intertwined with devastation. (Moved by the jury from Breaking News Photography, where it was originally entered.)

Photographer Lorenzo Tugnoli, on assignment for The Washington Post, spent nine weeks in Yemen in 2018, traveling first to the divided country in May as new fighting escalated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. On trips in November and December, he pushed into cities and remote villages farther north to show the war’s reach throughout the nation of 27.5 million. He came back with a poignant and devastating view of a conflict that has claimed the lives of as many as 50,000 people, displaced thousands more and brought millions to the brink of famine.

He witnessed the bitter rivalry between pro-government factions, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the Houthi rebels, aligned with Iran. He then picked his way through dangerous territories controlled by both sides to portray lives ruined by malnutrition, insecurity and forced conscription.

His Pulitzer entry is presented below:

Lorenzo Tugnoli is a photojournalist and a regular contributor to The Washington Post. His work also has been published by several international magazines. He is represented by Contrasto and resides in Beirut.

Tugnoli has extensively covered the Middle East, including living and working in Afghanistan. In 2014, in collaboration with writer Francesca Recchia, he published “The Little Book of Kabul,” a portrait of Afghanistan’s capital through the daily life of artists in the city. Tugnoli, who was born and raised in Lugo, Italy, is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of Arabic.

[ See more recent work from Tugnoli here. ]

Darrin Bell

2019 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning

For beautiful and daring editorial cartoons that took on issues affecting disenfranchised communities, calling out lies, hypocrisy and fraud in the political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration.

Darrin Bell’s winning submission was titled: “Championing minorities, the poor and suffering, and calling out hypocrites, liars and frauds.”

“We were always minorities in every neighborhood we lived in, which I think opened my eyes a bit more to the rest of the world,” he says. “I’ve always had friends who were different from me, so I have a lot of respect for diversity.”

   Show 10 more photos

Bell was born in south-central Los Angeles in 1975. His parents, both teachers, soon moved to East Los Angeles. At a young age, he remembers going along with his mother while she attended classes at Cal State Los Angeles. Bell would sit in a corner with some art supplies, quietly drawing. During most of his school years, a time when urban school districts were being desegregated, he was bused to schools as much as two hours away.

In 1993, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed the concept for a strip called Lemont Brown, which evolved into “Candorville.” The Washington Post Writers Group began syndicating his cartoons in 2013. The cartoons come from a black/minority perspective but comment on a wide range of issues. He now is syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Bell lives in Sacramento with his wife and two children.

[ See more from Bell on The Washington Post News Service & Syndicate as well as his recent work here. ]


Jamal Khashoggi (Illustration by Alex Fine for The Washington Post)

The Staff of The Washington Post

2019 Pulitzer Finalist for Public Service

For commanding and courageous coverage of the murder of Saudi-born journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s Turkish consulate.

When Jamal Khashoggi disappeared inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, The Washington Post immediately began to ensure that the circumstances of his murder would not remain a mystery, that those responsible would be held accountable and that his legacy would endure.

Khashoggi’s death was personal to us — he was a contributor to our Global Opinions forum. But his assassination was a matter of international significance, an attempt by a government to use lethal force to silence a critic. His was the kind of killing that, left unchallenged, jeopardizes every reporter, every writer, every dissident whose work exposes tyranny and oppression.

• A missing voice 
• Turkey concludes Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed by ‘murder’ team, sources say
• Jamal Khashoggi. This story is not finished. 
Evidence of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi exists. It must be released.
Saudis are said to have lain in wait for Jamal Khashoggi
Intercepts show Saudi plan to lure journalist 
Recordings said to reveal killing 
Is this the country we want to be? 
His long road through risky territory 
Who needs Saudi Arabia? 
Saudi suspected in alleged killing have ties to security services 
CIA finds crown prince ordered Khashoggi killing 
Activist reveals recordings of Saudi coercion 
‘America First’ means Americans lose 
A Saudi fable 
Critical test lies ahead for Riyadh’s sophisticated influence machine 
Crown prince is ‘chief of the tribe’ in cowed House of Sand 
Why bring a bonesaw to a kidnapping? 
A family feud that led to murder
The final months of Jamal Khashoggi 

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist and author, and a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist.

[ Read more work from Jamal Khashoggi here. ]

Murder with Impunity database

The Staff of The Washington Post

2019 Pulitzer Finalist for Explanatory Reporting

For exhaustive data analysis and haunting storytelling that revealed the vast number of unsolved homicide cases in America’s major cities.

Telling the story of murder’s disparate impact on neighborhoods across America required dogged determination from a team of Post journalists who had to build a reporting framework to identify previously unseen patterns.

Reporters knew that crime data gathered by the FBI failed to capture the detail needed to understand the forces at work.

Starting nearly two years ago, the team came up with the idea to file open records requests with about a dozen major police departments for case-level information on homicides in those cities, including — critically — the precise address of the killing and whether police had made an arrest.

The team consulted with cartographers and criminologists to learn how to most accurately and descriptively plot the location of individual murders and the outcomes. As data rolled in from select cities, reporters tested and tweaked the methodology to map the murders. What emerged were shockingly stark inequities in justice.

Murder with Impunity: Where killings go unsolved
Database: Out of 54,868 homicides in 55 cities over the past decade, 50 percent did not result in an arrest. 
Killings of black people lead to arrests less often than when victims are white
Daunting caseloads for detectives in many big cities 
A witness’s duty — and burden 
Sacramento aims to flip the script on gang violence 
Shuttered in a house amid the murderers 
Domestic slayings: Brutal and foreseeable
Baltimore’s open season 
To catch a killer, the first days are crucial 
Detroit police reassign detectives to help reduce homicide caseloads 


Elizabeth Bruenig

2019 Pulitzer Finalist for Feature Writing

For eloquent reflections on the exile of a teen sexual assault victim in the author’s West Texas hometown, delving with moral authority into why the crime remained unpunished.

Amber Wyatt’s story could have gone untold. The assault on her in a dark shed in a Texas town on a sweltering August night in 2006 could have been ignored and forgotten — by everyone, that is, except Wyatt. But Elizabeth Bruenig, a 15-year-old sophomore at the time of the incident, couldn’t let go.

Bruenig didn’t know Wyatt. At the time, she only understood the episode’s hazy outlines and witnessed her classmates’ taunting response. Yet Bruenig’s moral compass meant the story gnawed at her in the ensuing years. She has a deep-seated drive to speak for the most vulnerable. Her reporter’s yearning to discern the truth and bring injustice to light impelled her to spend years on the project, at points carving out time during nights and weekends and making numerous reporting trips back home.

Amber Wyatt last summer in San Marcos, Tex. (Amanda Voisard for the Washington Post)

She began without even knowing Wyatt’s full name and went on to secure Wyatt’s trust and cooperation, without which critical documents would not have been available. Next, finding the detective who investigated the case and the hospital nurse who conducted the rape examination, she managed to piece together the story of how the system had failed to pursue justice, or even basic decency, in Wyatt’s case. Finally, combining graceful writing with an unsparing intellect, she produced a piece that not only indicted the systemic failings, but also raised deeper, unsettling questions about human nature.

Opinion | She reported her rape. Her hometown turned against her. Can justice ever be served?

Elizabeth Bruenig is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post, where she writes on Christianity, politics and public life.

Bruenig was born and raised in Arlington, Tex. She received her MPhil in Christian theology at the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Previously, she was an editor for The Post’s Outlook and PostEverything sections, and a staff writer at the New Republic. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Post, the Nation, the Atlantic, the Boston Review, Jacobin Magazine, First Things, and many more. She lives with her husband and daughter in Washington, D.C.

[ Read more recent work from Bruenig here. ]


Complete list of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners

2018: 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: By Washington Post Staff.