Pulitzer 2017: ‘Sweat’, Reporter Who Took on Trump Emerge Winners

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts were announced in New York City on Monday.

6 min read
Pulitzer  2017: ‘Sweat’, Reporter Who Took on Trump Emerge Winners

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts were announced in New York City on Monday.

The Pulitzers are the most prestigious honours in American journalism and have been awarded since 1917 after a bequest from newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. His will established Columbia University in New York as administrator of the prizes and also bestowed an endowment on the university to establish its School of Journalism. This is the contest's 101st year. The winners were revealed at the Columbia University.

The Pulitzer Prizes will recognise the best journalism of 2016 in newspapers, magazines and websites. There are 14 categories for reporting, photography, criticism and commentary.


In the arts, prizes are awarded in seven categories, including fiction, drama, history, biographies, poetry, general nonfiction and music.

The 19-member Pulitzer board is made up of past winners and other distinguished journalists and academics. It chose the winners with the help of 102 jurors.

More than 2,500 entries were submitted this year, competing for 21 prizes in categories ranging from public service and breaking news to commentary, cartooning and photography.

The New York Times has won three Pulitzer Prizes, for international reporting, breaking news photography and feature writing.

The Times staff won the international reporting award for a series of reports on Vladimir Putin's efforts to project Russia's power abroad.

Daniel Berehulak won for photographs that documented a violent campaign in the Philippines.


And CJ Chivers won in the feature category for a magazine piece on a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A 3,000-circulation newspaper that publishes twice a week has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

The Storm Lake Times of Iowa and writer Art Cullen won for a series of editorials that challenged powerful agricultural interests in the state.

Judges said Cullen's editorials were fueled by "tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing."

Reporter Who Took on Trump in 2016 Wins Pulitzer

Members of the Washington Post staff congratulate David Fahrenthold, center, upon learning that he won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. (Photo: AP)

David A Fahrenthold of The Washington Post has won the Pulitzer Prize for national campaign reporting that cast doubt on Donald Trump's assertions of generosity toward charities.

Among Fahrenthold’s findings was that Trump spent $20,000 that belonged to his charity on a 6-foot-tall portrait of himself.

Fahrenthold used Twitter to publicize his efforts, tagging Trump's Twitter account in his posts so Trump could see what he was doing.


Ultimately, Trump called to tell him that he was giving away $1 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity run by a friend.

David Fahrenthold said that getting a call from President Donald Trump was "an emotional high point" in his reporting. As for winning the prize, he said it's "pretty overwhelming."

Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting

This undated photo is one of the photos in the series that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography by Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer shooting for The New York Times. (Photo: AP)

The East Bay Times in Oakland, California, has won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for coverage of a warehouse fire that killed 36 people.

Judges said the staff of the newspaper received the award for relentless coverage of the Ghost Ship fire in December and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city's failure to take actions that might have prevented it.

The New York Daily News and ProPublica Emerged Winners

The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism and the Charleston Gazette-Mail took the award for investigative reporting, the Pulitzer board announced.


The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for a series on how officials are using a nuisance abatement law to evict people from their homes, even if they haven't committed a crime.

The reporting came from the review of 516 residential nuisance abatement actions from 1 January 2013, through 30 June 2014. It found 173 of the people who gave up their leases or were banned from homes were not convicted of a crime, including 44 people who appear to have faced no criminal prosecution whatsoever.

Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre documented how drug wholesalers flooded the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills over six years at a time when 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.


"Sweat" Wins the Pulitzer for Drama

This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows, Michelle Wilson, left, and Johanna Day during a performance of Lynn Nottage’s play, “Sweat,” at Studio 54 in New York. (Photo: AP)

"Sweat" by Lynn Nottage, which explores working-class resentment, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The play that explores how the shutdown of a Pennsylvania factory leads to the breakdown of friendship and family and a devastating cycle of violence, prejudice, poverty and drugs.

The play marks Nottage's Broadway debut. She is the writer of "Intimate Apparel," ''By The Way, Meet Vera Stark" and "Ruined," which also won the Pulitzer Prize.

The drama award, which includes a $10,000 prize, is "for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life."

Previous playwrights honoured include August Wilson, Edward Albee, Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. Recent winners include Annie Baker's "The Flick," Ayad Akhtar's "Disgraced," Stephen Adly Guirgis's "Between Riverside and Crazy," and Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton."


Pulitzer for History

The gripping Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson has won the Pulitzer Prize for history.

The book examines the events that unfolded starting in 9 September 1971, when nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. The work reveals the crimes committed during the uprising and its aftermath, who committed them and how they were covered up.

The award is for "a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States." It includes a $10,000 prize.


Pulitzer For Music

"Angel's Bone" by Du Yun has won the Pulitzer Prize for music.

The Pulitzer Prize board on Monday called the operatic work "bold" and said it "integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world."

Finalists in the category were "Bound to the Bow" by Ashley Fure and "Ipsa Dixit" by Kate Soper.

Pulitzer for Poetry

Poet Tyehimba Jess was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his work “Olio.” (Photo: AP)

Olio by Tyehimba Jess won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

The Pulitzer board said that the work melds performance art with poetry "to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity."

Finalists in the category were Collected Poems: 1950-2012 by the late Adrienne Rich and XX by Campbell McGrath.


Pulitzer for Autobiography

This is the cover image released by Random House for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar. (Photo: AP)

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar won the Pulitzer Prize for autobiography.

The Pulitzer Prize board said on Monday that Matar's memoir about his native Libya "examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region."

Finalists in the combined category of autobiography and biography included In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi and When Breath Becomes Air by the late Paul Kalanithi.

Pulitzer for Non-Fiction

The book cover of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. (Photo: AP)

Matthew Desmond's Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City has won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.

Set in Milwaukee, Desmond's book was among a wave of works that explored poverty, race and the class divide, themes that had special resonance as Republican Donald Trump campaigned on restoring the American Dream for "forgotten" Americans. Last month, Desmond won a National Book Critics Circle award.

The finalists for the nonfiction Pulitzer were In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker; and Micki McElya's The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery.


Pulitzer for Fiction

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. (Photo: AP)

Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel The Underground Railroad which combined flights of imagination with the grimmest and most realistic detail of 19th-century slavery.

No work of fiction was more honored in 2016. Whitehead's novel, which told of a runaway slave and a train to freedom, was given rave advance reviews and upon publication immediately jumped to the top of bestseller lists when Oprah Winfrey chose it for her book club. Last November, it won the National Book Award.

Whitehead told The Associated Press on Monday:

I think the book deals with white supremacy as a foundational error in the country’s history and that foundational error is being played out now in the White House.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP.)

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Topics:  Journalism   Winners   Pulitzer Prize 

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