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The Washington Post wins 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting and for National Reporting

The Washington Post newsroom listens to the announcement of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes. Photo credit: Shani George.
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Today, The Washington Post was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, one for investigative reporting and another for national reporting. The Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting was given to The Post for its deeply reported and highly consequential coverage of the Senate candidacy of Roy Moore and a subsequent effort to discredit The Post’s reporting. The Post received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its revelatory examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible links between the Trump campaign and Kremlin agents, and the U.S. response.

“Journalists need both a soul and a spine. The work recognized by the Pulitzer board demonstrated that Post journalists had both. They showed soul in their thorough dedication to our mission of getting at the truth. They showed spine by staying focused on their work in the face of denunciation, deceit and threats by politicians and their allies. In the end, the work of these Post journalists stands as a case study in why we need a free and independent press in this country,” said Martin Baron, executive editor at The Post.

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 Alabama’s Senate race and made it one of the biggest political stories of the year. The Post’s stories were distinguished by—and widely praised for — their rigor and transparency. These qualities were critical as efforts were made to discredit The Post’s reporting, including an attempt by Project Veritas to deceive Post reporters by planting a false story.

Honored as a co-recipient for the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, The Post produced one exclusive report after another on the fallout from Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Obama administration’s struggle to develop a response, the Trump administration’s unwillingness to engage with intelligence showing the extent of Russia’s activities, and the focus of the special counsel investigation, including that President Trump was under investigation for obstruction of justice. These stories were deeply reported and based on interviews with over 200 people: people in the Trump campaign, transition and administration; current and former government officials; people with close ties to the White House; and foreign officials who dealt with the Obama and Trump administrations.

Highlights include Flynn’s discussion of sanctions with Kislyak; acting attorney general Sally Yates’s warning to the White House; Flynn’s denial in an interview with the FBI that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak; Sessions’s failure to disclose his meetings with Kislyak; Jared Kushner’s bid to create a secret back channel to Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities; Trump’s efforts to enlist the director of national intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency to publicly deny the existence of evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government; the FBI’s plan to hire the author of the dossier; the Russian ambassador’s reports to Moscow that Sessions discussed campaign matters with him; the FBI probe of Kushner; the president’s crafting of his son’s misleading statement regarding a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer; and the fact that Trump was under investigation by the special counsel for obstruction of justice.

Enterprise Reporter John Woodrow Cox was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his haunting and revelatory series examining how children experience gun violence. He carefully cultivated relationships with parents and their kids, earning their trust and gaining extraordinary access that allowed him to produce such intimate and compelling stories. Often, parents told him that their son or daughter had said things to him they’d never heard before. His stories include a minute-by-minute reconstruction of how six teen girls endured the Las Vegas shooting, gunfire on a South Carolina school playground, the account of 4-year-old Carter Hill who was shot in the head in Cleveland, and the story of Ruben Urbina, 15, who unlike every other child featured in the series, was dead.

Nonfiction Book Critic Carlos Lozada is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his innovative and ambitious essays which mine a wealth of books to give readers insight into the forces shaping the Trump era. Lozada ranged across works of feminist analysis, military history, psychology, political reporting and biography, distilling multiple books at once, linking and contrasting disparate visions, authors and moments. His essays assessed the literature of the anti-Trump resistance, scrutinized works by psychiatrists who dare to bypass professional norms to question the president’s mental health, and in a review of early studies on the so-called alt-right, Lozada emphasized that the movement’s racist ends are inextricable from its absurdist, transgressive style.

Since 1936, The Washington Post has won 65 Pulitzer Prizes.

Contributors to The Post’s coverage of Roy Moore included the following bylined reporters: Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, Alice Crites, Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis, Dalton Bennett, Thomas LeGro, Julio Negron, Robert O’Harrow, and Andrew Ba Tran.

Contributors to The Post’s coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and the ongoing investigation included the following byline reporters: Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous, Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, Sari Horwitz, Devlin Barrett, Greg Jaffe, Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, and Philip Rucker.

Read the works of The Post’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists.