April 17, 2018

Two award-winning reporters realized their work was bigger than themselves


That’s what Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey brought to their colleagues Monday afternoon, when their unmasking of Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment shared American journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

“This might seem strange to say, but two of the people we’re closest to in the world have no idea who Harvey Weinstein is, and they don’t know a thing about our reporting on him,” Kantor began.

That would be their daughters, Violet and Mira, both under 2 years old.

When they are older, they will tell them, Kantor said, of other women who were victimized — and how they wanted to give those and other women “a mountain of evidence to stand on: documents, internal emails, settlement records, human resources reports.”

Twohey said they want to tell their daughters someday that “the two of us, and all of the other reporters around the country who worked on these kinds of stories, did so with the hope that girls your age will know nothing but dignity and decency in the workplace and beyond.”

Here is their entire speech, which includes their thanks to Ronan Farrow, of the New Yorker, who conducted his own investigation, also endured threats and legal challenges — and on Monday, shared the spotlight for the first chapters in the #MeToo era.

It was a description of the type of journalism rewarded Monday, from staffers laboring to get a paper out while fire threatened their entire town to another staff, fielding and confirming sickening stories of a creepy guy in a mall preying on teenagers who was the odds-on favorite to become Alabama’s next senator. Or the Alabama writer who confronted much of his audience to take a stand on that election.

Here are a few of the stories on the winners:

  • Kristen Hare reports on the Cincinnati Enquirer, which started covering heroin as a beat and ended up with 60 of its journalists intensely reporting a week of the city’s scourge — from multiple angles.

  • On his last assignment on his last day, the photographer who witnessed an indelible moment in the white nationalist Charlottesville protest called his award testament to local journalism’s power — but he’s moved on, to social media at a brewery.

  • After years of being overlooked, The USA Today Network (Gannett) takes three Pulitzers. Rick Edmonds reports.

  • An unlikely green light — two freelancers pitching a newspaper traditionally against comic strips — allowed for an affecting nonfiction story following a fleeing Syrian family, reports Ren LaForme.

From “Welcome to the New World” (The New York Times/Jake Halpern, Michael Sloan)

  • Reuters took two awards, one of the Philippine strongman Rodrigo Dutarte and another, for photography documenting the massive purge by Myanmar of members of its Rohingya minority.

  • The full list of Pulitzer winners and finalists. And celebrations.

  • Oh, and perhaps the biggest winner of all, Kendrick Lamar, the first non-classical, non-jazz musician to be so honored. Said Journal-isms blogger Richard Prince, joyously: “It would as if James Brown had won a Pulitzer in 1970.” It’s about time, says the Washington Post’s Chris Richards: “Rap music is the most significant pop idiom of our time.”


    Quick Hits

    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Sean Hannity, who savagely critiqued the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer, has turned out to be a client of the lawyer himself. Why didn’t he disclose that to his viewers? That’s what Fox News’s Juan Williams asked on air. His Fox News collegue Shep Smith calls it “the elephant in the room.” It truly is a mess, writes The Atlantic’s David Graham. The Daily News put it simply, over much of its Tuesday front page, “Oh, For Fox Sake!

  • THE EXCRUCIATING DEATH OF LOCAL NEWS: It’s profits first, news last,” writes Colorado news veteran Sandra Fish in the Daily Beast. “That’s bad not just for journalists, but for citizens who need a reliable source of information more than ever before in our democracy. Here’s a fired West Virginia editor’s advice for the Denver Post. (Hat tip: Neil Parekh)

    YET, HERE’S WHY I’M GOING INTO IT: “I plan to tell stories for the rest of my life,” says Kiana Cole in a farewell column from the UNC’s Daily Tar Heel, where she has told them the last four years. (Hat tip: John Robinson)

    REPORT FOR AMERICA: “People are applying for the same reason people want to go into the Peace Corps: There’s an idealistic desire to help communities, and there’s a sense of adventure,” Steven Waldman says. “They want to try and save democracy. People keep saying that.” (Hat tip: Connie Schultz)

    SHE REALLY LIKED THE PLAYLIST: Her name was Suzanne. She wanted to remain anonymous. But the music-loving donor gave $10 million to KEXP, the alternative-indie music public radio station in Seattle, Nicole Brodeur writes. And you think I’m kidding about the playlist? (Hat tip: Hemal Jhaveri)

    HE’S OUT:  Departed as chairman of Tronc, now Michael Ferro has made a deal to divest himself from the company. He sold his stake to a member of former owner Robert McCormick’s family, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    BUILDING UP WIKIPEDIA: In nations like the United Arab Emirates, chances are slim that you’ll find answers to a general UAE question on Wikipedia. But this month, a group of volunteer Wikipedia editors launched the Wiki Loves Emirates campaign, trying to fix that. As Wikipedia grows, it hopes that its volunteer editors, now skewed toward North America and Europe, will become more representative of the world. (Hat tip: Andrew Lih)

  • IN SELENA, THEY SAW THEMSELVES: That’s how Steve Saldivar’s story began on the 49th birthday of slain singer Selena Quintanilla. Saldivar was overwhelmed by responses to a callout on what the Mexican American star meant to them. For some, she represented a connection with parents, or the first person in media that looked like them. (Hat tip: Michelle Maltais)

  • What we’re reading

    CHEMICAL ATTACK: Russia and Syria blocked international experts from heading to the site of the attack earlier this month. Meantime, Trump has backed down from his threats to increase sanctions on Russia for the attack. The most recent softening toward the Putin regime undercuts the U.N. ambassador, who pledged a tough U.S. reaction toward Russia, which supplies arms and mercenaries to keep the Assad regime afloat.

    A REVELATION: What Alexa means for the blind. Writer Ian Bogost sees its effects on his dad, who could have used this a generation or two earlier.

    ANOTHER UPSET?: No one gave a Democratic challenger much thought in a race for an open Congressional seat in a solidly Republican district in Arizona. Now it looks more like a toss-up, reports New York magazine’s Ed Kilgore.

    ANIMATED INFLUENCERS: What comics have played a big role in evolving the genre, and leading millions of Americans imagine differently? From Superman to Smile, Mickey to ”Maus,” Vulture.com looks at the pictures, panels, and text that brought them to life.

    DEAR WHITE AMERICA: Should I give up on you? asks George Yancy, a philosophy professor at Emory. “I am not a masochist,” he writes in the New York Times, “nor do I want to be a martyr.”

  • MARATHON MYSTERY: She finished second in the Boston Marathon. Nobody knew her. The 26-year-old Arizona nurse did it in only her second marathon. Wait, what? Turns out, Sarah Sellers was a runner in college who broke a bone in her foot. That kept her from running for years.

  • (Photo/Weber State University)

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