NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. REUTERS/Glenn
Greenwald/Laura Poitras/The Guardian
The Guardian US and Washington Post have been awarded the
most prestigious Pulitzer prize for coverage of secret
surveillance by the US National Security Agency that sparked
wide debate over government spying.
Reuters won in international reporting for its coverage of
the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar who
in efforts to flee often fall into the hands of brutal
The celebrated prizes, awarded by Columbia University, are
the most respected in US journalism and can bring badly
needed attention and recognition to newspapers and websites
suffering from economic pressures and budget constraints.
The prize-winning work by the Guardian US and The Washington
Post in the Pulitzer's public service category was based on
documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who
revealed details of global electronic surveillance by the US
Reporting on the leaks not only sparked international debate
over the limits of government surveillance but prompted
President Barack Obama to introduce curbs on NSA spying
"We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the
world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which
threatened to stifle our reporting," Guardian Editor in Chief
Alan Rusbridger said in a statement.
"And we share this honor, not only with our colleagues at The
Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so
much in the cause of the public service which has today been
acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize," he
Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum last year after the
US Justice Department charged him with violating the
In giving Reuters its first Pulitzer for text coverage, the
board commended Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall for their
"courageous reports" on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to
flee the Southeast Asian country often fall victim to
"For two years, Reuters reporters have tirelessly
investigated terrible human-rights abuses in a forgotten
corner of the Muslim world, bringing the international
dimensions of the oppressed Rohingya of Myanmar to global
attention," Stephen Adler, Reuters editor-in-chief, said in a
Szep, from Washington, said: "What we were writing about was
under-reported. I hope through this, there is greater
international attention to the risks and presence of
religious violence in Myanmar."
Reuters was also a finalist in the investigative reporting
category for a series by Megan Twohey, which exposed the
underground market for adopted children. Her work won praise
for "triggering governmental action to curb the practice" of
exchanging unwanted kids online.
Goran Tomasevic of Reuters was named a finalist for breaking
news photography, with judges recognizing "his sequence of
photographs that chronicle two hours of fierce combat on the
rebel frontline in Syria's civil war."
The breaking news photography prize went to Tyler Hicks of
The New York Times for coverage of the attack by Islamist
militants at Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The feature
photography prize went to Josh Haner of The New York Times
for an essay on a Boston Marathon bomb blast victim.
The Boston Globe won for its breaking news coverage of the
2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the ensuing manhunt.
Finalists included The Arizona Republic for coverage of a
wildfire that killed 19 firefighters and The Washington Post
for coverage of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy
The prize for investigative reporting went to Chris Hamby of
The Center for Public Integrity for reports on how some
lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal
miners stricken with black lung disease.
The prize for explanatory reporting went to Eli Saslow of the
Washington Post for work on the prevalence of food stamps in
The prize for local reporting went to Will Hobson and Michael
LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times for an investigation into
squalid housing conditions for the city's homeless
population. The prize for national reporting went to David
Philipps of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for
his examination of how wounded combat veterans are
No award was given in the category of feature writing.
The commentary prize went to Stephen Henderson of the Detroit
Free Press and the criticism prize went to Inga Saffron of
the Philadelphia Inquirer. The editorial writing prize was
awarded to the staff of The Oregonian and editorial
cartooning went to Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer.