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April 21, 2015

NYT wins Pulitzers for West Africa Ebola coverage

The New York Times won two prestigious Pulitzer prizes on Monday for coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, described by the Pulitzer board as courageous and vivid journalism that engaged the public and held authorities accountable.

The Pulitzer for Public Service, announced at Columbia University, went to Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier for its series on domestic violence.

The Pulitzers honor extraordinary work in U.S. journalism, literature, drama and other areas and bring welcome attention and recognition to newspapers and websites.

"Till Death Do Us Part" by the Post and Courier probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the country for women. Doug Pardue, one of a four-person team that produced the series, said it pushed the state legislature to pursue greater  protection for abused women.

"I'm glad to see that journalism is awarded for this type of reporting," said Pardue. "It's a story that touches so many people."  

For its Ebola coverage, The New York Times staff won the prize for international reporting and freelancer Daniel Berehulak won for feature photography.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch won for photographic coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots. Editor Gilbert Bailon said the staff had suffered emotionally and physically while covering the violence that followed the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer.

"It’s a very personal story. Some staff faced tear gas directly; some were deeply involved in efforts to get the community to heal,” he said.

 The Seattle Times staff won for coverage of a deadly landslide, and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig won for coverage of security lapses at the Secret Service.

The Wall Street Journal won a prize in investigative reporting for "Medicare Unmasked," the first reporting Pulitzer for the newspaper since 2007, when it was purchased by News Corp.

New York Times reporter Eric Lipton won for investigative reporting on how lobbyists can sway congressional leaders and state attorneys general.

The Pulitzer for explanatory reporting went to Zachary Mider of Bloomberg News for showing how U.S. corporations dodge taxes. It is the first Pulitzer for the New York-based news agency.

Joan Biskupic, Janet Roberts and John Shiffman of Reuters were explanatory reporting finalists for their use of data analysis to illustrate the extraordinary access of an elite group of lawyers to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ned Parker and a Reuters team of reporters were finalists in international reporting for their work on the disintegration of Iraq and rise of ISIS.

The local reporting prize went to Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci of the Daily Breeze of Torrance, California, for their look at corruption in a small, cash-strapped school district.

The feature writing prize went to Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times for drought coverage.

The commentary prize went to Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times won for criticism and the editorial writing prize went to Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe.

The editorial cartooning prize went to Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News.

The fiction award went to Anthony Doerr for "All the Light We Cannot See," published by Scribner, and the drama prize went to Stephen Adly Guirgis for "Between Riverside and Crazy."

The history prize went to Elizabeth A. Fenn for "Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People," published by Hill and Wang, and David I. Kertzer won the prize for biography for "The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe," published by Random House.

Gregory Pardio won the prize for poetry for "Digest," Elizabeth Kolbert won in general nonfiction for "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" and the music prize went to Julia Wolfe for "Anthracite Fields."