NSA Stories Take Pulitzer Prize
    2014-04-15 07:12:00     Xinhua       Web Editor: Liu

After the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to The Washington Post, reporters and editors gather in the newsroom in Washington Monday, April 14, 2014, as contributing writer Barton Gellman describes the effort that went into a series of stories on the government's massive surveillance program based on information leaked by National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden. The disclosures showed that the NSA has collected information about millions of Americans' phone calls and emails based on its classified interpretations of laws passed after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The Pulitzer Prizes, journalism's highest honor, are given out each year by Columbia University on the recommendation of a board of journalists and others. This is Gellman's third Pulitzer honor. [Photo: J Scott Applewhite/Imagine China]

The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday in New York's Columbia University with the Guardian US and The Washington Post receiving the coveted public service Pulitzer.

"One of the notable aspects is that two of the prizes in public service go to The Guardian US and The Washington Post which help to stir public discussion of the balance between the security and privacy. It's the fourth times that we have two Gold Medals," Sig Gissler, the administrator of Pulitzer Prizes, said during a press conference.

In the 14 Journalism categories, winners represented 12 organizations. The Washington Post was awarded for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The revelation helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.

The paper's writer also won the award of Explanatory Reporting for his unsettling and nuanced reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America.

The photographers of The New York Times also won two Pulitzer Prizes for the Breaking News Photography whose compelling pictures showed skill and bravery in documenting the unfolding terrorist attack at Westgate mall in Kenya and for the Feature Photography prize on a Boston Marathon bomb blast victim who lost most of both legs and now is painfully rebuilding his life.

Meanwhile, the Local Reporting Prize went to the reporters of the Tampa Bay Times for their relentless investigation into the squalid conditions that marked housing for the city's substantial homeless population, leading to swift reforms. For the second time in the Prizes history, no winner won the prize for Feature Writing.

Among the seven arts categories, the Fiction prize went to "The Goldfinch", a novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy's entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.

The Drama prize goes to "The Flick", a thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters that focuses on three employees of a Massachusetts art-house movie theater, rendering lives rarely seen on the stage.

The Pulitzer Prize was established by Hungarian-American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Each winner receives a certificate and a 10,000-U.S.-dollar cash award.

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