Pulitzer Prizes honor Gaza war coverage

The Pulitzer Prizes on Monday included a special mention for journalists covering the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the war in Gaza was one of the main topics of discussion.

The New York Times won a Pulitzer in international reporting for its “wide-ranging and revelatory coverage of Hamas’s lethal attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7,” as well as reporting on “the Israeli military’s sweeping, deadly response.”

Reuters meanwhile won the award for breaking news photography for its “raw and urgent” coverage of the October 7 attack and Israeli response, while a special citation recognized “journalists and media workers covering the war in Gaza.”

“This war has also claimed the lives of poets and writers,” the committee said. “As the Pulitzer Prizes honor categories of journalism, arts and letters, we mark the loss of invaluable records of the human experience.”

Additionally, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Washington Post contributor and jailed Russian opposition politician, was awarded a prize “for passionate columns written at great person risk from his prison cell warning of the consequences of dissent in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and insisting on a democratic future for his country.”

As the most incarcerated opponent of President Vladimir Putin, Kara-Murza is currently serving a 25-year prison term in Russia. He was charged with “treason” after claiming during an American lecture that Russia had committed “war crimes” against Ukraine.

The Columbia University awards ceremony took place in the midst of criticism directed at the New York campus for using police to remove pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The police mainly barred the media from entering the area and threatened to arrest any student journalists who covered the events.

In an article published over the weekend, two editors of Columbia’s student newspaper detailed the university’s “suppression” of their reporting, including demands to turn over tapes and images and police threats of arrest.

Additional honors recognized US journalists’ coverage of gun violence, racial inequities in the legal system, and migrant child labor.

Winning both the fiction and nonfiction categories were Jayne Anne Phillips’ “Night Watch,” a book about a mother and daughter during and after the American Civil War, and Nathan Thrall’s “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy.”

The committee praised the “finely reported and intimate account of life under Israeli occupation of the West Bank, told through the portrait of a Palestinian father whose five-year-old son dies in a fiery school bus crash when Israeli and Palestinian rescue teams are delayed by security regulations.”

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