The Washington Post was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, capturing journalism’s most prestigious honor for its investigation of Russian interference within the 2016 election and for its protection of the 2017 Senate race in Alabama, wherein The Post broke the story of sexual misconduct allegations towards the Republican candidate, Roy Moore.
Both units of tales uncovered secret or undisclosed info which have altered America’s political panorama. The Post’s revelations about Russia, together with contacts between Russian figures and President Trump’s associates and advisers, helped set the stage for the particular counsel’s ongoing investigation of the administration. The Moore tales had been a consider altering what had appeared like a sure victory for the Republican candidate. Both investigations had been produced amid unusually harsh criticism, together with from the president himself.
The reporting about Moore and subsequent protection of makes an attempt to discredit The Post’s work gained within the investigative journalism class. The Russia-related tales shared the Pulitzer for nationwide reporting with the New York Times, which was acknowledged for its work on the identical matter. Post reporters have now gained or shared the nationwide reporting Pulitzer 4 occasions within the final 4 years.
The Times and the New Yorker journal additionally shared the gold medal for public service, the best honor within the 101-year-old competitors, for his or her work documenting allegations of harassment and sexual assault involving outstanding males within the leisure trade and information media. The award went to a workforce of reporters on the Times that centered on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and comic Louis C.Ok., and to the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, who revealed Weinstein’s allegedly violent interactions with acclaimed actresses and efforts to cowl them up.
The Post’s prize-winning entries concerned a number of journalists. The Russia package deal included 10 tales by 11 reporters, together with Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous, Philip Rucker, Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, Greg Jaffe, Devlin Barrett, Sari Horwitz, Ashley Parker and Carol D. Leonnig.
The mixed textual content and video entry for the Moore collection was credited to 10 employees members, together with Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, Alice Crites, Aaron C. Davis, Shawn Boburg, Dalton Bennett, Thomas LeGro, Andrew Ba Tran, Julio Negron and Robert O’Harrow.
“These days journalists need a soul and a spine, and the journalists who worked on these had both,” stated Martin Baron, The Post’s govt editor. “They had a soul in seeking and finding the truth, and they had a spine in that they overcame deceit, denial, obstruction and threats. They stood strong throughout that.”
The Post’s Russia tales contained a number of startling revelations: that Michael Flynn, Trump’s designated nationwide safety adviser, had mentioned lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the course of the presidential transition interval, probably in violation of the regulation; that performing lawyer basic Sally Yates had advised the White House that Flynn had misled senior officers, together with Vice President Pence, about his Russia contacts, making him weak to Russian blackmail; that lawyer general-designee Jeff Sessions did not disclose two conversations with Kislyak when requested about contacts throughout his affirmation listening to; and that Trump revealed secret intelligence to Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an Oval Office assembly in May. The newspaper additionally printed a prolonged account of President Barack Obama’s battle to retaliate towards Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interference in the course of the 2016 marketing campaign, and explored Trump’s unwillingness to confront the problem of Russian election interference.
The information about Sessions’s undisclosed encounters prompted him to recuse himself in March from an investigation of Russia’s election conduct. Sessions then appointed his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, to supervise the investigation. The New York Times subsequently reported that notes taken by ousted FBI director James B. Comey recounted a dialog wherein Trump urged Comey to drop an investigation of Flynn. That led Rosenstein to nominate Robert S. Mueller III as particular counsel final 12 months.
Throughout all of it, Trump denounced The Post’s and Times’s reporting about Russia as “fake news.”
The Post’s investigation of Moore started in October when McCrummen, on a reporting journey to Alabama, heard rumors that Moore had made romantic and sexual advances towards underage ladies within the late 1970s and early 1980s whereas he was in his early 30s.
McCrummen quickly positioned one of many girls, Leigh Corfman. She advised the reporter that she was 14 years outdated when Moore approached her outdoors a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. in 1979. Corfman stated Moore later picked her up close to her house and drove her to his home, the place he initiated bodily contact together with her. Five different girls additionally advised McCrummen and Reinhard that Moore pursued them once they had been between the ages of 16 and 18 and Moore was a younger lawyer.
The allegations immediately modified the trajectory of a race that had been anticipated to be a lock for Moore, a former state chief justice endorsed by Trump. It additionally undercut Moore’s picture as a deeply non secular household man identified for erecting a monument to the Ten Commandments within the rotunda of his courthouse. Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor, gained in an upset in December, beating Moore by simply 22,00zero votes.
McCrummen stated Corfman was initially reluctant to discuss her experiences when the reporter first contacted her. She stated she had an extended collection of off-the-record conversations together with her earlier than Corfman felt prepared to return ahead. “A lot it was me listening and not talking,” McCrummen stated. “I just kept telling her, ‘This is your decision. You have to be okay with this.’ I was ready to lose the story, for nothing to work out.” Ultimately, she stated, “I think the lack of pressure” and respect for The Post’s professionalism helped persuade Corfman to go on the document.
Moore vigorously denied the ladies’s tales and repeatedly criticized The Post’s reporting all through the marketing campaign. Conservative web sites, resembling Breitbart News, additionally rushed to Moore’s protection, questioning The Post’s veracity.
The Post later reported on an elaborate effort to discredit its reporting by Project Veritas, a conservative group that makes use of misleading techniques in an effort to seize video it hopes will reveal liberal media bias. A girl secretly working for the group contacted Reinhard shortly after the Corfman story was printed and falsely stated she had been impregnated by Moore when the girl was a young person in 1992. The group’s intent was to surreptitiously record Post journalists making biased statements, in line with its founder.
The Post by no means printed the girl’s story and as an alternative turned the tables on her and Project Veritas. Crites found that the girl, Jaime T. Phillips, had a GoFundMe web page aimed toward elevating cash for her work with an unidentified conservative media group. McCrummen confronted Phillips in regards to the doc at a suburban Washington restaurant as Post videographers Dalton Bennett and Thomas LeGro recorded the encounter. A couple of days later, enjoying a hunch that Phillips labored for Project Veritas, Davis and reporter Shawn Boburg teamed as much as monitor her as she drove from her house to the group’s places of work outdoors New York City. Bennett and LeGro subsequently recorded Davis’s interview with Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe outdoors the workplace as he declined to reply questions on Phillips.
The Post additionally had two finalists within the annual Pulitzer competitors: Book critic Carlos Lozada was cited for essays in regards to the cultural and political forces shaping the Trump presidency, and John Woodrow Cox was acknowledged for his alarming and emotional collection of articles about kids who’ve skilled the trauma of gun violence.
The New York Times gained three awards. In addition to sharing the nationwide reporting prize with The Post and public-service medal for its reporting on sexual harassment, the newspaper gained within the editorial cartooning class for “Welcome to the New World,” a collection that adopted a Syrian refugee household’s first months in America by way of illustrations. The collection was written by Jake Halpern and illustrated by Michael Sloan.
The Times’s Pulitzers had an uncommon footnote: reporter Michael Schmidt was a outstanding contributor to each the paper’s Russia protection and its harassment tales, incomes him a chunk of two Pulitzers in a single 12 months — a “rare feat” within the annals of the competitors, in line with Roy Harris, a historian of the awards.
The Pulitzers are awarded yearly for newspaper, journal and on-line journalism. Separate awards are made for achievement in literature, drama and musical composition. The awards are administered by Columbia University, and are decided by juries journalists.