2024 Pulitzer Prize winners announced amid war and campus unrest

The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded at Columbia University on Monday, honoring the achievements in journalism, books, music and drama.

The ceremony came at a charged moment, coinciding with Columbia University canceling its graduation ceremony (and largely closing off its campus).

The seven-month war in Gaza continues less than a week after the Pulitzer’s Prize Board made a statement commending “the tireless efforts of student journalists across our nation’s college campuses, who are covering protests and unrest in the face of great personal and academic risk.” The board specifically mentioned student journalists at Columbia who documented last week’s NYPD raid on the campus in real-time.

With the campus largely closed off, the Pulitzer board convened and chose the winners at the corporate offices of The Associated Press in downtown Manhattan, according to Poynter.

ProPublica won the award for Public Service for its series on politically influential billionaires giving gifts to members of the Supreme Court.

The Washington Post was one of the big winners of the afternoon, taking home Prizes in three categories. The staff of the paper shared the award for National Reporting with Reuters. Contributor Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prisoner in Russia, won for his columns criticizing Vladimir Putin. David E. Hoffman won for Editorial Writing.

Reuters also won for Breaking News Photography.

The staff of The New York Times won for International Reporting for its coverage of the Hamas attack on Israel and the ensuing war. Hannah Drier at the Times won for Investigative Reporting for an unrelated series of stories about migrant child labor. Katie Englehart, a contributing writer at the Times, won for Feature Writing.

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy,” by Nathan Thrall won the Prize for General Nonfiction. The book is about a Palestinian man whose 5-year-old son died in a bus crash in the West Bank while rescuers were delayed by security measures.

Journalists covering Gaza received one of two special citations — the late writer Greg Tate received the other. The Board again called for Russia to free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been wrongfully detained since March 2023.

“The journalism honored today connects with us on a personal level,” Poynter president Neil Brown, co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, said in a statement. “Through service to our communities, large and small, and with exceptional storytelling at a time of conflict and confusion, journalists provide insight and reveal uncomfortable truths. The Pulitzer Prizes are essential to celebrating the value of that.”

The full list of winners can be seen on the Pulitzer website at https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year.