Washington Post, Guardian Win Pulitzers for NSA Reporting

The Washington Post and the Guardian won Pulitzer Prizes for public service for their coverage of the surveillance tactics of the U.S. National Security Agency.

The Post, acquired last year by Amazon.com Inc. Chairman Jeff Bezos, also won for explanatory reporting. The New York Times garnered two awards, both for photography, while the Boston Globe got the prize for breaking-news reporting for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Using classified information provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the Post and the Guardian reported that the agency had collected data on U.S. residents’ phone calls and foreign nationals’ Internet activity. The revelations hurt U.S. relations with allies such as Germany and led President Barack Obama to propose limits to global surveillance.

The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in reporting and the arts were announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

Reuters, the news outlet owned by Thomson Reuters Corp., won the prize for international reporting for its coverage of the persecution of a Muslim minority community in Myanmar. While the company has won for photography, it was the first prize it has received for written reporting.

The Center for Public Integrity won for investigative reporting, looking into how coal miners with black lung disease struggled to get benefits.

Feature Finalists

A committee of editors, publishers, writers and educators voted on the winners in 21 categories of journalism, books, drama and music. Winners in all categories except public service receive a $10,000 cash award. The public-service prize, awarded to a news organization, is a gold medal.

For the first time in a decade, the Pulitzer jury decided not to give out an award for feature writing. Finalists this year included Scott Farwell of the Dallas Morning News, for a story about a woman’s struggle to live a normal life after years of abuse as a child; Christopher Goffard of the Los Angeles Times, who chronicled the nine-day killing spree of former police officer Christopher Dorner; and Mark Johnson, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter who followed first-year medical students as they bonded with each other and a corpse in an anatomy class.

Including 2004, when no award was given for feature writing, Pulitzer juries have withheld a prize 63 times in the history of the awards, said Sig Gissler, administrator of the prizes. It happens when no finalist can muster a majority vote, he said.

Below is a table of 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners.


PUBLIC SERVICE The Washington Post for its investigation of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, and the Guardian US for its reporting on NSA surveillance.

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING The Boston Globe staff for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt that followed.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., for reports on how lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners with black lung disease.

EXPLANATORY REPORTING Eli Saslow of The Washington Post for reports on food stamps in post-recession America.

LOCAL REPORTING Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times for reporting on housing conditions of the city’s homeless population.

NATIONAL REPORTING David Philipps of the Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado, for reports on the mistreatment of wounded combat veterans.

INTERNATIONAL REPORTING Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters for stories on the violent persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar.


COMMENTARY Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press for columns on the financial crisis in Detroit.

CRITICISM Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer for architecture criticism.

EDITORIAL WRITING Editorial staff of the Oregonian, Portland, for editorials on rising pension costs.

EDITORIAL CARTOONING Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer.

BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY Tyler Hicks of the New York Times for pictures of the terrorist attack at Kenya’s Westgate mall.

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY Josh Haner of the New York Times for an essay on a Boston Marathon bombing victim.


FICTION “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt.

DRAMA “The Flick” by Annie Baker.

HISTORY “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832” by Alan Taylor.

BIOGRAPHY “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” by Megan Marshall.

POETRY “3 Sections” by Vijay Seshadri.

GENERAL NON-FICTION “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” by Dan Fagin.

MUSIC “Become Ocean” by John Luther Adams.

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