The Pulitzer Prizes have been announced. The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the top public service journalism award for a joint investigation into the New York Police Department’s use of eviction rules to force people of color out of their homes.
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold won for his investigation into how President Trump lied during the campaign about donating millions of dollars to charities to help veterans.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and the Miami Herald also won for their reporting on the massive Panama Papers leak that revealed how the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm set up a global network of shell companies for heads of state and other elites to store money offshore to avoid taxes and oversight.
Art Cullen of the tiny, family-run Iowa newspaper The Storm Lake Times won for his editorials that challenged the corporate agricultural industry, including the Koch brothers, Cargill and Monsanto. Cullen is not only the paper’s editorial writer, but also the paper’s editor and part-time reporter. His brother John is the paper’s publisher.
The Pulitzer Prize for biography went to Hisham Matar for “The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between,” which chronicles the author’s return to Libya, where his father had been imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi two decades earlier.
And the Pulitzer Prize for history went to Heather Ann Thompson for “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.”
This is Thompson speaking on Democracy Now! about her investigation into the decades-long cover-up about how armed state troopers raided the prison to break the standoff, firing more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, killing 29 prisoners and 10 guards.
Heather Ann Thompson: “For 45 years, the majority of the records for Attica remain sealed by the State Attorney General’s Office, or at least very difficult to get. And the reason is that for all of the death at Attica, no member of law enforcement was ever held responsible. So, the book was the journey to figure out who had created so much trauma; what had happened in the Governor’s Office to lead to this retaking; who were the members of law enforcement that not only shot their weapons, but indeed the highest levels of the state police, who worked very had to tamper with evidence, to conceal evidence and to protect their own. And that was a key journey for finding out that information.”
Lynn Nottage also won her second Pulitzer for her drama, “Sweat.” New Yorker critic Hilton Als won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” won for fiction.
To see our full interview with Heather Ann Thompson, as well as with Hisham Matar and Michael Hudson, senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, go to democracynow.org.