The 2018 Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism has been jointly awarded to The New York Times and The New Yorker for the outlets’ coverage on sexual assault in Hollywood, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy announced Monday.
Canedy said the outlets exposed “powerful and wealthy sexual predators … bringing them to account for long-suppressed allegations of coercion, brutality and victim silencing, thus spurring a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women.”
Roy J. Harris Jr., a Poynter contributor who has studied and speculated on Pulitzer winners in the past, predicted this year’s prize might be awarded to one of the more prominent journalists who uncovered numerous bombshell sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The reports added significant fuel to the Me Too movement, a broad pushback against sexual harassment in all industries.
Harris speculated the real decision for the Pulitzer judges would be which of two major works was more deserving of the award, highlighting The New York Times for “Harassed” by lead reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and The New Yorker for Ronan Farrow’s numerous stories on the topic.
“Both the paper’s and the magazine’s articles, appearing within days of each other in October, unearthed movie mega-producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual predation,” Harris said. “And together they helped change the discussion of workplace harassment on a national level, and beyond.”
The Washington Post won this year’s investigative reporting award for its work on the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, which was also related to the Me Too movement.
The Post uncovered allegations that candidate Roy Moore had sexually harassed teenagers when he was in his 30s. The Post produced “purposeful and relentless reporting that changed the course of a Senate race in Alabama by revealing a candidate’s alleged past sexual harassment of teenage girls and subsequent efforts to undermine the journalism that exposed it,” Canedy said.
Pulitzers are awarded annually in 14 different journalism categories, as well as seven other categories under letters, drama and music.
Other winners this year include The Cincinnati Enquirer, which won the local reporting award for its work on how the heroin epidemic has ravaged communities in the area; Reuters, which won the international reporting award for its work on the “brutal killing campaign” that has been part of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs; and rapper Kendrick Lamar, who won the prize in music for his album “Damn,” becoming the first nonclassical or jazz artist to win the award.