ProPublica wins Pulitzer public service award for Supreme Court reporting

ProPublica won the prestigious public service Pulitzer Prize for its investigative reporting on the Supreme Court and the billionaires who gave gifts and free travel to justices for years, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced Monday.

The award was given to the staff of ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom, for the “Friends of the Court” series by reporters Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott, Brett Murphy, Alex Mierjeski and Kirsten Berg. ProPublica said in a statement that this is the organization’s seventh Pulitzer Prize.

The Pulitzer Prize Board commended the reporters for their “groundbreaking and ambitious reporting that pierced the thick wall of secrecy surrounding the Supreme Court to reveal how a small group of politically influential billionaires wooed justices with lavish gifts and travel, pushing the Court to adopt its first code of conduct.”

The 2023 Pulitzer Prize awards were announced on Wednesday, honoring work in journalism in 15 different categories. The awards also recognized eight categories focused on the arts, including books, music and theater.

The New York Times and The Washington Post each won three awards. The New Yorker and Reuters each won two.

The Times won the Pulitzer for international reporting for its coverage of the Oct. 7 attack and the war in Gaza. The photography staff of Reuters won for breaking news photography documenting the Oct. 7 attack and the first few weeks of the Israel-Hamas war.

The Times’s Hannah Dreier won the Pulitzer for investigative reporting for her work revealing “the stunning reach of migrant child labor across the United States—and the corporate and government failures that perpetuate it.” The Times’s Katie Engelhart won for feature writing for a story showcasing a family’s struggles during the matriarch’s progressive dementia.

The Pulitzer for national reporting went to both the staff of the Post, for its reporting on the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and to the staff of Reuters for its reporting on Elon Musk and his businesses.

The Post’s David Hoffman won for editorial writing for a series on authoritarian regimes’ tactics to repress in the digital age. The Post’s Vladimir Kara-Murza won for columns written “at great personal risk from his prison cell,” that warned about consequences of dissent against Russian President Vladimir Putin, while “insisting on a democratic future for his country.”

Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times won for criticism.

The Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting was awarded to Sarah Stillman of The New Yorker for “a searing indictment of our legal system’s reliance on the felony murder charge and its disparate consequences, often devastating for communities of color.” The New Yorker’s Medar de la Cruz won for illustrated reporting and commentary for a series set inside Rikers Island jail.

The Associated Press photography staff won for feature photography for documenting migrants “and their arduous journey north from Colombia” to the U.S. border.

The staff of Lookout Santa Cruz, California, won for breaking news reporting on catastrophic flooding and mudslides. Sarah Conway of City Bureau and Trina Reynolds Tyler of the Invisible Institute won for local reporting for their series on missing Black girls and women in Chicago. The staffs of the Invisible Institute, Chicago, and USG Audio, California, won for audio reporting that revisited a Chicago hate crime from the 1990s.

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