NEW YORK — The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism Monday for its coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, an attack on democracy that was a shocking start to a tumultuous year that also saw the end of the United States’ longest war, in Afghanistan.
The Post’s extensive reporting, published in a sophisticated interactive series, found numerous problems and failures in political systems and security before, during and after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in the newspaper’s own backyard. The insurrection also garnered an award for Getty Images, which won one of two prizes awarded in breaking news photography.
The US pullout and recycle of the Taliban’s grip on Afghanistan permeated across categories: The other prize awarded in breaking news photography went to Los Angeles Times correspondent and photographer Marcus Yam, for work related to the fall of Kabul. The New York Times won in the international reporting category for reporting challenging official accounts of civilian deaths from US airstrikes in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Pulitzer Prizes, administered by Columbia University and considered the most prestigious in American journalism, recognize work in 15 journalism categories and seven arts categories. This year’s awards, which were livestreamed, honored work produced in 2021. The winner of the public service award receives a gold medal, while winners of each of the other categories get $15,000.
The intersection of health, safety and infrastructure played a prominent role among the winning projects.
The Tampa Bay Times won the investigative reporting award for “Poisoned,” its in-depth look into a polluting lead factory. The Miami Herald took the breaking news award for its work covering the deadly Surfside condo tower collapse, while The Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune won the local reporting award for “Deadly Fires, Broken Promises,” the watchdog and newspaper’s examination of a lack of enforcement of fire safety standards.
“As a newsroom, we poured our hearts into the breaking news and the ongoing daily coverage, and subsequent investigative coverage, of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse story,” The Miami Herald’s executive editor, Monica Richardson, wrote in a statement. “It was our story to tell because the people and the families in Surfside who were impacted by this unthinkable tragedy are a part of our community.”
Elsewhere in Florida, Tampa Bay Times’ editor and vice president Mark Katches mirrored that sentiment, calling his newspaper’s win “a testament to the importance of a vital local newsroom like the Times.”
The Pulitzer Prizes also awarded a special citation to journalists of Ukraine, acknowledging their “courage, endurance and commitment” in covering the ongoing Russian invasion that began earlier this year. Last August, the Pulitzer board granted a special citation to Afghan journalists who risked their safety to help produce news stories and images from their own war-torn country.