2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners Include ‘This American Life’ With Inaugural Audio Award. See The Full List
BY ANDREW LIMBONG
There were a couple firsts in this year’s announcement of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. First off, it was done remotely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It goes without saying that today, we announce the Pulitzer winners in deeply trying times,” said Dana Canedy, the administrator of the prizes, from her living room. “Despite relentless assaults on objective truth, coordinated efforts to undermine our nation’s free press, and persistent economic headwinds, journalists continue to pursue and deliver essential facts and truths to keep us safe and protect our democracy.”
The other new twist was the inaugural award for audio reporting, which went to the staff of the public radio show and podcast, This American Life, along with Los Angeles Times reporter Molly O’Toole and Vice News freelance reporter Emily Green. The winning episode, “The Out Crowd,” covered the impact on individuals of President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policies.
The board also awarded a special citation to Ida B. Wells — the journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States.
On the Arts and Letters side, author Colson Whitehead won his second Pulitzer for his novel, The Nickel Boys. It’s based on a real-life Florida reform school where students were physically and sexually abused (Whitehead previously won in 2017 for his book The Underground Railroad). The board awarded the drama prize to Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop — a musical about a gay Black man working as an usher at a Broadway show, writing a musical about a gay Black man working as an usher at a Broadway show.
You can find the full list of winners below.
- Public Service: The Anchorage Daily News, in collaboration with ProPublica
- Breaking News Reporting: The staff of the Louisville Courrier-Journal
- Investigative Reporting: Brian M. Rosenthal, The New York Times
- Explanatory Reporting: The staff of The Washington Post
- Local Reporting: Staff of The Baltimore Sun
- National Reporting: T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi, ProPublica and Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times
- International Reporting: The staff of the New York Times
- Feature Writing: Ben Taub, The New Yorker
- Commentary: Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times
- Criticism: Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times
- Editorial Writing: Jeffery Gerritt, Palestine Herald-Press
- Editorial Cartooning: Bary Blitt, The New Yorker
- Breaking News Photography: The photography staff of Reuters
- Feature Photography: Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin, The Associated Press
- Audio Reporting: This American Life
Letters, Drama and Music
- Drama: A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson
- History: Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel
- Biography: Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser
- Poetry: The Tradition, by Jericho Brown
- General Nonfiction: The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer and The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin
- Music: The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis
- Fiction: The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
- Ida B. Wells