Two Florida newspapers have taken the top awards in the 2022 Pulitzer Prize news categories, announced on Monday afternoon.
The Miami Herald took the prestigious award in breaking news for its coverage of the Surfside condominium collapse in June last year, which judges said merged “clear and compassionate writing with comprehensive news and accountability.”
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times won in the investigative reporting category for their investigation of toxic hazards inside Florida’s only battery recycling plant. The stories ultimately “forced the implementation of safety measures to adequately protect workers and nearby residents.”
The public service award went to The Washington Post for its account of the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, “providing the public with a thorough and unflinching understanding of one of the nation’s darkest days.”
The New York Times’ project to quantify the “disturbing pattern of fatal traffic stops by police, illustrating hundreds of deaths could have been avoided” earned the institution the prize for national reporting. The newspaper was also nominated for three different stories in the international reporting category. The staff took home the prize for reporting that challenged official accounts of American military engagements that exposed the vast civilian toll of U.S. led airstrikes.
In an introduction, John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice president and editor at large for standards and co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, talked about the impact of the journalism behind the 2022 winners.
Futuro Media was given the top award for audio reporting “Suave,” a profile of a man reentering society after serving more than 30 years in prison.
“These stories sometimes right injustice, sometimes they illuminate a deeper context of the local communities in which we live. Sometimes they surprise and entertain,” Daniszewski said. But what the journalism has in “in common is that it was done ethically and seriously, and in its enterprise has paid a part in keeping our democracies vibrant.”
Other awards for exemplary writing and journalism, included:
Explanatory reporting – Staff of Quanta Magazine, notably Natalie Wolchover, for coverage that revealed the complexities of building the James Webb Space Telescope, designed to facilitate groundbreaking astronomical and cosmological research.
Local reporting – Madison Hopkins of the Better Government Association and Cecilia Reyes of the Chicago Tribune, for an examination of the city’s long history of failed building- and fire-safety code enforcement.
Commentary – Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star, who has recently moved to The Sacramento Bee, for columns demanding justice for alleged victims of a retired police detective accused of being a sexual predator.
Editorial writing – Lisa Falkenberg, Michael Lindenberger, Joe Holley and Luis Carrasco of the Houston Chronicle, for a campaign that, with original reporting, revealed voter suppression tactics and argued for sensible voting reforms.