Justin Chang Wins Pulitzer Prize For Los Angeles Times Film Criticism; Special Citation Goes To Journalists Covering Gaza

The New Yorker’s Justin Chang won a Pulitzer Prize for his movie criticism during his tenure at the Los Angeles Times.

Chang also is the former film critic for Variety. The judges recognized Chang for his “richly evocative and genre-spanning film criticism that reflects on the contemporary moviegoing experience.”

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The New York Times, Reuters, the New Yorker and The Washington Post were among the multiple winners.

A special citation also was given to the journalists covering the war in Gaza. The Times’ prizes included one for its international reporting of the Hamas attack on Israel and the war in Gaza.

A special citation also was awarded to Greg Tate, the late writer and critic. “His aesthetic innovations and intellectual originality, particularly in his pioneering hip hop criticism, continue to influence subsequent generations, particularly writers and critics of color.”

The New York Times won prizes for investigative reporting, international reporting and feature writing. The Washington Post won for national reporting, commentary and editorial writing. The New Yorker won for explanatory reporting and illustrated reporting and commentary, while Reuters was recognized in the national reporting and breaking news photography. The Invisible Institute and USG Audio won for audio reporting, and the Invisible Institute also was recognized along with City Bureau for local reporting.

The award for breaking news reporting went to Lookout Santa Cruz, a digital local news site that launched in 2020. It’s part of an effort to bolster local journalism at a time when many traditional media outlets have suffered severe ad declines and staff cutbacks.

ProPublica was recognized in the public service category for its series on the Supreme Court, including stories on Justice Clarence Thomas’ acceptance of gifts from well-heeled donors with an interest in cases before the court.

The complete list of journalism winners:

Public service: ProPublica, for the work of Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott, Brett Murphy, Alex Mierjeskiand Kirsten Berg, for their “groundbreaking and ambitious reporting that pierced the thick wall of secrecy surrounding the Supreme Court to reveal how a small group of politically influential billionaires wooed justices with lavish gifts and travel, pushing the Court to adopt its first code of conduct.”

Breaking news reporting: Staff of Lookout Santa Cruz, California, “for its detailed and nimble community-focused coverage, over a holiday weekend, of catastrophic flooding and mudslides that displaced thousands of residents and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses.”

Investigative reporting: Hannah Dreier of The NewYork Times, for “a deeply reported series of stories revealingt he stunning reach of migrant child labor across the United States—and the corporate and governmental failures that perpetuate it.”

Explanatory reporting: Sarah Stillman of The New Yorker, for “a searing indictment of our legal system’s reliance on the felony murder charge and its disparate consequences, often devastating for communities of color.”

Local reporting: Sarah Conway of City Bureau and Trina Reynolds-Tyler of the Invisible Institute, “for their investigative series on missing Black girls and women in Chicago that revealed how systemic racism and police department neglect contributed to the crisis.”

National reporting: Staff of Reuters, for “an eye-opening series of accountability stories focused on Elon Musk’s automobile and aerospace businesses, stories that displayed remarkable breadth and depth and provoked official probes of his companies’ practices in Europe and the United States.”

Staff of The Washington Post, for “its sobering examination of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which forced readers to reckon with the horrors wrought by the weapon often used for mass shootings in America.”

International reporting: Staff of The New York Times, for “its wide-ranging and revelatory coverage of Hamas’ lethal attack in southern Israel on October 7, Israel’s intelligence failures and the Israeli military’s sweeping, deadly response in Gaza.”

Feature writing: Katie Engelhart, contributing writer, The New York Times, for her “fair-minded portrait of a family’s legal and emotional struggles during a matriarch’s progressive dementia that sensitively probes the mystery of a person’s essential self.”

Commentary: Vladimir Kara-Murza, contributor, The Washington Post, for “passionate columns written at great personal risk from his prison cell, warning of the consequences of dissent in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and insisting on a democratic future for his country.

Criticism: Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times for “richly evocative and genre-spanning film criticism that reflects on the contemporary moviegoing experience.”

Editorial writing: David E. Hoffman of The Washington Post, for “a compelling and well-researched series on new technologies and the tactics authoritarian regimes use to repress dissent in the digital age, and how they can be fought.”

Illustrated reporting and commentary: Medar de la Cruz, contributor, The New Yorker, “for his visually-driven story set inside Rikers Island jail using bold black-and-white images that humanize the prisoners and staff through their hunger for books.”

Breaking news photography: Photography Staff of Reuters for raw and urgent photographs documenting the October 7th deadly attack in Israel by Hamas and the first weeks of Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza.”

Feature photography: Photography staff of Associated Press, for “poignant photographs chronicling unprecedented masses of migrants and their arduous journey north from Colombia to the border of the United States.”

Audio reporting: Staffs of the Invisible Institute, Chicago, and USG Audio, California, for You Didn’t See Nothin, “a powerful series that revisits a Chicago hate crime from the 1990s, a fluid amalgam of memoir, community history and journalism.”

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