SAN FRANCISCO — The candidacy of President Trump, America’s opioid epidemic and the tragic fire at an Oakland warehouse were among the topics that earned journalists and their news organizations Pulitzer Prizes on Monday.
Journalism’s pre-eminent awards went to coverage of Trump’s improbable run to the White House (TheWashington Post’s David Fahrenthold for national reporting that cast doubt on the generosity of the Trump Foundation, and the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan for commentary on the nation’s divisive presidential campaign); the flood of addictive opioids into depressed West Virginia counties, leading to fatal overdoses (Eric Eyre of the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette-Mail for investigative reporting); and the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland that killed 36 people (East Bay Times staff in Oakland, Calif., for breaking news).
USA TODAY Network, in its first full year of operation, was a finalist in the investigative reporting category for Dishonor Roll, a series on abusive teachers, led by Steve Reilly. It was the first time USA TODAY was recognized as a Pulitzer finalist in the investigative reporting category.
The big winner was the New York Times, with three: Its staff’s international coverage of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s tentacles of power, feature writing for C.J. Chivers on a Marine’s postwar descent into violence, and breaking news photography of the Philippines for a government assault on drug dealers and users (freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak).
Among the other 14 winners in the journalism category:
— Explanatory reporting: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald (Panama Papers coverage).
— Editorial writing: Art Cullen of the The Storm Lake Times, a tiny, family-run newspaper in Iowa, on powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.
— Public service: New York Daily News and ProPublica on widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police.
— Local reporting: Salt Lake Tribune staff for the mistreatment of sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University.
Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride announced the winners, which were broadcast live on YouTube. The announcement coincided with the 170th birthday of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, for whom they are named.
The 101st edition of the Pulitzers, awarded at Columbia University in New York, underscored roiling changes — and uncertainty about the country’s immediate future.