2023 Pulitzer Prize Winners - The Complete List

2023 Pulitzer Prize Winners – The Complete List

The Pulitzer Prizes – that time of the year when the journalistic world stops to pat itself on the back, offering accolades to the best of the best. Or, in layman’s terms, it’s like the Oscars, but for people who read more than just tweets.

The 2023 edition did not disappoint, with a mix of expected heavy hitters and a few surprises that had us saying, “Oh, they still do that?” Let’s take a stroll down the winners’ lane, shall we?

pulitzer prize winners for 2023

Journalism’s Finest

Public Service Pulitzer

Associated Press clinched the Public Service Pulitzer for their intense coverage of Mariupol’s siege during Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Nothing says public service like showing the world the grim realities of war, and Associated Press delivered in a big way, earning this prize deservingly.

The AP team really showed up in the Pulitzer scene this year, snagging finalist spots in not just one but two categories. They captured some intense moments through their lenses with breaking news shots of Sri Lanka’s political drama and some deeply moving feature photos showing how the Ukraine conflict is hitting the elderly hard.

When it came to the public service award, the Pulitzer judges couldn’t help but tip their hats to the AP. These were the only folks from the international media camp who hung around Mariupol for nearly three weeks.

They managed to snap heart-stopping images like an injured pregnant woman being hurried off for medical care and the chilling sight of civilian areas under fire from Russia. The team on the ground in Mariupol was like something out of a movie – videojournalist Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, and video producer Vasilisa Stepanenko were right there in the thick of it, with reporter Lori Hinnant backing them up from Paris.

Breaking News Reporting Award

Los Angeles Times Staff grabbed the Breaking News Reporting award for uncovering racist comments by city officials. The team at The Times really knocked it out of the park. They got their hands on a leaked audio that caught some of the L.A. City Council members in the act.

They weren’t just making racist remarks; they were also scheming to grab more power during the redistricting shenanigans.  The whole saga kicked off with a piece by David Zahniser, Julia Wick, Benjamin Oreskes, Dakota Smith, and Gustavo Arellano. But it didn’t stop there. Soon, journalists and various departments from all over the newsroom jumped in on the action.

The judges tipped their hats to The Times for lifting the lid on that sneaky, secretly recorded chat full of racist comments. But that was just the start.  They kept the momentum going with a bunch of follow-up stories that dove deep into the ensuing chaos and took a hard look at the broader racial tensions at play.

Investigative Reporting Award

Investigative Reporting Award 2023

The Wall Street Journal Staff emerged victorious in Investigative Reporting for digging into federal agencies’ officials and their financial conflicts of interest. They’ve been keeping a close eye on the financial shenanigans at 50 federal agencies.

It turns out that some officials have been playing the market with stocks that they’re supposed to regulate. Plus, they’ve spotted a bunch of other ethical no-nos by folks who are supposed to be looking out for us, the public.

Explanatory Reporting Award

Caitlin Dickerson of The Atlantic won Explanatory Reporting for shedding light on the Trump administration’s migrant children separation policy. Dickerson spent a year and a half digging into the Trump team’s policy that split up families, revealing the big reveal of how the U.S. government separated loads of kids from their parents and pinpointing who was behind it all.

On top of that, she’s bagged some pretty impressive awards like the Peabody, Livingston, and Edward R. Murrow. In 2023, she snagged the Silvers-Dudley Prize, not to mention she’s a two-time champ of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards.

Local Reporting Pulitzer

Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today took home the Local Reporting Pulitzer for exposing a former governor’s misuse of state welfare dollars. Classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.” Anna Wolfe really dug deep and found some fresh dirt on former Mississippi Gov.

Phil Bryant’s role in the state’s whopping $77 million welfare mess. This is the first time the digital newsroom, which isn’t a stranger to the spotlight thanks to a bunch of national awards it’s picked up recently, has snagged a Pulitzer Prize.

Artistic Side of Rewards

commentary winner Pulitzer prize

Commentary Pulitzer

Kyle Whitmire of AL.com received the Commentary Pulitzer for his take on Alabama’s Confederate heritage. His year-long coverage of Alabama’s not-so-accurate history and how it’s still shaping the state today, “State of Denial,” really hit the mark.

Whitmire’s been keeping an eye on Alabama and its political scene for over two decades now, making him a go-to guy for all the inside scoop on Montgomery’s shenanigans. You can really count on him to give you the lowdown.

Book Criticism Pulitzer

Andrea Long Chu of New York Magazine won Criticism for her book reviews. Over the past year, Chu’s been making some serious waves with her top-notch work.

From her razor-sharp take on author Hanya Yanagihara to her deep coverage of the latest trend of mixed-race Asian characters popping up in literature, she’s left a lasting impression on readers and the industry bigwigs.

Editorial Writing Reward

2023 Editorial Writing Reward

Miami Herald Editorial Board was recognized in Editorial Writing for calling out Florida officials. The Miami Herald Editorial Board and Amy Driscoll really knocked it out of the park with their series called ‘Broken Promises.’

It’s about how Florida’s public officials have been dropping the ball, failing to deliver on all the goodies and services they’ve been promising to folks for years.

Illustrated Reporting and Commentary

Mona Chalabi of The New York Times got the Illustrated Reporting and Commentary Pulitzer for her Jeff Bezos illustrations. Mona took on this wild task of trying to make Jeff Bezos’ ridiculous wealth a bit more digestible for us mere mortals.

She cooked up “9 Ways to Imagine Jeff Bezos’ Wealth,” which is this awesome mix of hard-hitting stats and fun doodles. This whole thing was part of a special issue by The New York Times Magazine back in April 2022, all about America’s ballooning billionaire club.

The Visuals That Stuck

 

  • Associated Press Photography Staff again, this time for Breaking News Photography during Ukraine’s invasion.
  • Christina House of the Los Angeles Times in Feature Photography, capturing the life of a pregnant woman on the streets.

Audio Reporting’s Finest

2023 Audio Reporting Winner

The staff of Gimlet Media won for their investigation into Indigenous children abuse in Canada. The well-deserved award was snagged with a special shout-out to Connie Walker.

Her deeply personal investigation, “Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s,” discussed her father’s complex history, ultimately uncovering a heart-wrenching tale of abuse experienced by hundreds of Indigenous children at a Canadian residential school. It’s a powerful reminder of the impact journalism can have.

The Literary and Musical Genius Circle

Books and Drama

  • Barbara Kingsolver’s “Demon Copperhead” snagged the Fiction Pulitzer.
  • Sanaz Toossi’s “English” won the Drama Pulitzer.
  • Jefferson Cowie’s “Freedom’s Dominion” took the History Pulitzer.
  • Beverly Gage’s “G-Man” won the Biography Award.
  • Hua Hsu’s “Stay True” received the Memoir or Autobiography Pulitzer.
  • Carl Phillips’ “Then the War” was awarded the Poetry Pulitzer.
  • Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa’s “His Name Is George Floyd” took General Nonfiction because some stories need to be told and retold.
  • “Omar” by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels won Music.

A Few More Notable Moments

2023 Feature Writing Winner

The Washington Post got a Public Service nod for their fentanyl crisis investigation, and The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times also got awards for… well, doing what big newspapers do. Investigate, report, rinse, repeat.

Eli Saslow of The Washington Post got one for Feature Writing. The award recognized heartfelt personal stories about folks grappling with the pandemic, homelessness, addiction, and inequality. Together, these tales paint a vivid picture of what life is like in America today.

Final Remarks

So, there you have it. The 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners in all their glory. A mix of the expected, the deserved, and the “huh, interesting.” Journalism, literature, and music, all recognized for their contributions to… well, making us feel a range of emotions from inspired to utterly depressed.

In a world where the news cycle moves faster than you can say “Pulitzer,” it’s nice to see some things still get their moment in the spotlight.

The Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973, a pivotal moment in journalistic history that forever changed how we view investigative reporting and the role of the press.

Iona Maclean

Iona Maclean

With seven years of dedicated experience in journalism, I've sharpened my skills in delivering reports and insightful stories that resonate. My time in the industry has given me a perspective on different topics, from technological advancements to cultural phenomena. What drives me the most is uncovering the truth and bringing you stories that inform, inspire, and connect.