2016 Pulitzer Prizes: A.P. Wins Public Service Award; ‘Hamilton’ Is Honored
The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public service on Monday for a series that exposed slavery and vicious abuse in the Southeast Asia fishing trade, leading to the release of 2,000 captives and broad reforms in an industry that is a major supplier of seafood to the United States.
The Pulitzers are in their centennial year, and the winners announced by Columbia University reflected in part the changes sweeping the media landscape. Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project, an online outlet founded 17 months ago, and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica, another digital news organization, won the explanatory reporting prize for a harrowing account of a botched rape investigation.
One year after magazines became eligible in some Pulitzer categories, The New Yorker received two prizes: for Emily Nussbaum’s television criticism, and for “The Really Big One,” Kathryn Schulz’s ominous article about the potential for a major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, which won for feature writing. William Finnegan, a New Yorker staff writer, won the biography award for his memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.”
In an honor that was widely predicted, the musical “Hamilton,” a hip-hop retelling of the founding fathers story, received the prize for drama. The musical’s creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reacted joyfully on Twitter, writing: “PULITZER?!”
Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times won the prize for international reporting, for an examination of the abuse and injustice faced by women in Afghanistan. The Times, which had 10 Pulitzer finalists, also won for breaking news photography, sharing the award with Thomson Reuters for a searing collection of images of migrants seeking asylum in Europe.
Two other newspapers won two prizes apiece. Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe won the commentary prize for her columns examining the legacy of busing and segregation in Boston, and a photographer for The Globe, Jessica Rinaldi, captured the feature photography award for chronicling a young boy’s struggle after a history of abuse.
The Tampa Bay Times won a prize for local reporting for its look at the stunning failure rates among black students in a Florida county that abandoned racial integration in its public school system. The paper also shared the investigative reporting prize with The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for an exposé on abuse and neglect in Florida mental hospitals.
The Washington Post won the national reporting prize for a data- and graphic-intensive project that chronicled the death of every American killed by a police officer in 2015, revealing insights into police violence at a time when the subject has been at the core of the national political debate.
The award for fiction went to Viet Thanh Nguyen for his debut novel, “The Sympathizer,” which opens in 1975 in Saigon and centers on a Communist sympathizer who escapes to Los Angeles and spies on a South Vietnamese group he has infiltrated. The novel, which won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, was hailed by critics as a new classic for war fiction and as a clever blend of espionage, satire and historical fiction.
In nonfiction, the prize went to “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” by Joby Warrick, a reporter for The Washington Post. In his book, which was published by Doubleday, Mr. Warrick explores the recent rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, in part through a detailed portrait of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the group’s founder, who was killed in an American airstrike in 2006.