Joby Warrick, author of “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” also won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction
Eli Saslow a finalist for feature writing
The Washington Post was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its comprehensive study of fatal shootings by U.S. police officers. The team of journalists launched an unprecedented investigation to tally every fatal shooting by an on-duty officer in 2015. Their findings revealed a number of patterns: most of those who died were white men armed with guns who were killed by police in threatening circumstances; a quarter of those killed were suicidal or had a history of mental illness; more than 50 of the officers involved had killed before; and while only 9 percent of people killed by police were not armed, unarmed black men were seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire.
In the wake of the shooting death of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., The Post’s stories defied conventional wisdom about police shootings while exposing an urgent need for reform.
“When police shootings dominated the national conversation, basic facts were missing because police are not required to report fatal shootings to the FBI. The Post’s writers and editors sought to fill that enormous information gap with an unprecedented database on police shootings and comprehensive on-the-ground reporting,” said Martin Baron, executive editor. “Deploying people in every corner of the newsroom, The Post delivered on a core journalistic mission – telling the public what it needs to know. And its work had immediate impact: The FBI said it would overhaul how it tracks fatal police encounters, promising to make it ‘the highest priority.’ We’re honored that the Pulitzer board recognized the skill of our staff and the importance of its work.”
National reporter Joby Warrick also received the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction as the author of “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS.” In the book, Warrick traces the origins of the Islamic State. As a national security correspondent, Warrick covers the intelligence community and counterterrorism.
“Joby is one of the finest national security reporters in the country. The breadth of his knowledge, the depth of his sourcing, and the doggedness of his reporting are all evident in this remarkable book, along with his brilliance as a storyteller. All of us in the newsroom are proud to be his colleague, and we’re grateful that his expertise and energy are available to Post readers every day,” said Baron.
Since 1936, The Washington Post has received 62 Pulitzer Prizes.
Learn more about The Post’s coverage honored by the Pulitzer board.
The journalists who worked on The Post’s police shootings coverage, led by David Fallis and Lori Montgomery, included (in alphabetical order): Keith Alexander, Jabin Botsford, Amy Brittain, Jahi Chikwendiu, Alice Crites, Kennedy Elliott, Marc Fisher, Derek Hawkins, Scott Higham, Jennifer Jenkins, Kimbriell Kelly, Kimberly Kindy, Whitney Leaming, Wesley Lowery, Ted Mellnik, Zoeann Murphy, John Muyskens, Jorge Ribas, Steven Rich, Sandhya Somashekhar, Julie Tate