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Pulitzers recognize reporting on the war between Israel and Hamas and honor journalists working in Gaza

The war in Gaza was the focus of the Pulitzer Prize Board this past week. Not just pro-Palestinian protesters occupied parts of Columbia University – home of the awards – but coverage of the war appeared in multiple entries.

Reporting on the war between Israel and Hamas won the Pulitzers, the most prestigious prize in journalism, in two categories on Monday. The New York Times staff won the International Reporting Award for its coverage of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the failure of Israeli intelligence and the Israeli military’s response to the attack. Reuters staff won in Breaking News Photography for their work documenting the attack and the first few weeks of the Israeli response.

The administration also issued a special citation on Monday to honor journalists and media workers who covered the war in Gaza. Special quotes are rare; Fewer than 50 have been awarded since the awards were established in 1917.

The New York Times reporting – which called the administration “comprehensive and revealing” – included this stories showing that Israel was aware of Hamas’s attack plan, a visual examination to Israel’s bombing of civilians in Gaza, and a multimedia account of a massacre in Be’eri, Israel. (A complete list of the stories in the Times entry can be found on the Pulitzer Prizes website.)

The Times’ entry did not Include the December 28 report that claimed to find a pattern of sexual violence against women during Hamas’ attack on Israel. The controversial research “Screams without words: sexual violence on October 7,” has faced intense criticism from critics who have questioned its accuracy and reporting process.

Found the interception that one of the authors of the piece, an Israeli filmmaker with no journalistic experience, liked social media posts calling on Israel to destroy Gaza. Other journalists have found inconsistencies in the piece, and relatives of a woman whose death was mentioned in the investigation questioned whether she had been sexually assaulted. The Times had to putting a podcast episode on the shelf about the investigation due to internal doubts about the story.

The Times has repeatedly defended its reporting, although it reported as much in March video footage had been found that undercut an account of sexual assault that was included in the Dec. 28 story. More than 50 journalism professors have since called for the Times to commission a group of ‘journalistic experts’ to conduct an ‘independent review’ of the story.

The Reuters entry It included photos of Israeli and Hamas fighters, Palestinians holding the bodies of their dead loved ones and wreckage on both sides. The board praised the organization’s work as “raw and urgent.” Several photos in the entry, including one of the bodies of elderly Israelis lying outside a bomb shelter, were taken on October 7. At the time, a media advocacy group had baselessly accused Reuters and other outlets of having prior knowledge of the attack. Reuters responded that the photos came from Gaza-based freelance photographers who were at the border on the morning of October 7.

As it did in 2021 for reporters in Afghanistan and again in 2022 for journalists in Ukraine, the Pulitzer Board honored media workers in Gaza with a special citation. The board noted that an “extraordinary” number of journalists have died while covering the war.

“An extraordinary number of journalists have died under horrific circumstances trying to tell the stories of Palestinians and aid workers in Gaza,” the quote reads. “This war has also claimed the lives of poets and writers among its victims. While the Pulitzer Prizes honor categories of journalism, arts and letters, we mark the loss of priceless data about the human experience.”

As of Friday, more than 97 media workers – 92 Palestinians, 2 Israelis and 3 Lebanese – have been killed since October 7. said the Committee to Protect Journalists. Another four journalists have been reported missing, and several dozen have been injured or arrested.

The quote follows a March announcement that the Pulitzer Prize Board would give the Committee to Protect Journalists a $50,000 grant to support journalists covering the war in Gaza.