The New York Times won three Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, bringing the publication’s total to 130 since Columbia University began presenting the annual journalism award in 1917.
The Times was recognized for coverage that investigated how New York taxi industry leaders exploited immigrant drivers, pushing thousands into debt and many to suicide; the lead essay for a special project on the impact of slavery on the United States, published 400 years after the first enslaved Africans were brought to the American colonies; and a look into Vladimir V. Putin’s shadow war to undermine the West.
Commentary: Nikole Hannah-Jones for The 1619 Project
Ms. Hannah-Jones was recognized for her essay examining how slavery shaped the country — from its democracy to its material wealth — and how slavery’s legacy has persisted for the 400 years since the first slave ship reached Virginia.
“The 1619 Project is the most important work of my life,” Ms. Hannah-Jones said on Monday.
The essay was published on Aug. 14, and the magazine issue gained public attention immediately, with copies selling out and educators around the country teaching The 1619 Project. The Times also produced a six-part podcast related to the project.
Investigative Reporting: Taxi Drivers in Debt
Brian M. Rosenthal received the award for investigative reporting for a five-part series on how reckless loans, dispensed by a small group of New York taxi medallion owners, put thousands of immigrants in debt while bankers made huge profits. Mr. Rosenthal’s series exposed how government officials allowed lenders with political connections to skirt certain regulations.
“One by one, they told me how they had come to New York seeking the American dream, worked hard and gotten trapped in loans they did not understand,” Mr. Rosenthal wrote in a separate story explaining his reporting process.
The first part of the series was published on Sunday, May 19, and was the topic of the July 7 episode of The Weekly.
The next day, the New York attorney general’s office opened up a criminal inquiry into the matter.
International Reporting: Russian Assassins
The staff of The Times received the award for international reporting in recognition of their reporting on how President Putin of Russia has used shadow warfare to undermine the West and restore Russia as a global power.
Among the stories in the series:
Michael Schwirtz uncovered the existence of a secret team of Russian military assassins throughout Europe called United 29155 that was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in 2018.
The visual investigations unit analyzed and translated tens of thousands of cockpit recordings chronicling bombings in Syria by Russian aircraft, showing that Russia had targeted four Syrian hospitals over 12 hours.
Dione Searcey reported from the Central African Republic that Russia had sent mercenaries there to train local soldiers. The Russian operatives were partnering with rebels to mine diamonds.
In Libya, David Kirkpatrick reported that Russia was assisting the country’s leader in the civil war by sending fighter jets and snipers.
The first story of the series was published on March 31.