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The top Pulitzer Prizes go to ProPublica, NY Times, small Santa Cruz, California, news site

ProPublica's reports on lavish gifts and favors lavished on several U.S. Supreme Court justices won the nonprofit the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Journalism on Monday.  File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
ProPublica’s reports on lavish gifts and favors lavished on several U.S. Supreme Court justices won the nonprofit the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Journalism on Monday. File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License photo

May 6 (UPI) — This year’s top Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism were awarded Monday to nonprofit online news outlet ProPublica, a community news site in Santa Cruz, California, and the New York Times, among others.

ProPublica’s Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott, Brett Murphy, Alex Mierjeski and Kirsten Berg received the prestigious 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Public Sector Journalism for their “groundbreaking and ambitious” reporting on political favors doled out by politically connected billionaires to several judges of the United States Supreme Court.

Their reports published last year “pierced the thick wall of secrecy” around the court and revealed “lavish gifts and travel” that prompted the court to adopt its first code of conduct, the Pulitzer Committee said in a statement.

It was ProPublica’s seventh Pulitzer Prize.

In total, Columbia University’s 108th annual Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music presented prizes in 23 categories, most of which award winners a certificate and $15,000 in cash.

The breaking news journalism award was a surprise and went to small community news website Lookout Santa Cruz for its coverage of the January 2023 catastrophic flooding in Santa Cruz County.

This category has been won in the past by much larger and established newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Lookout earned the honor for its “detailed and deft community-oriented reporting, over a holiday weekend, of catastrophic flooding and mudslides that displaced thousands of residents and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses,” the committee said.

Meanwhile, the coveted award for investigative journalism went to Hannah Dreier of The New York Times for a series of “deeply reported” stories about the widespread exploitation of migrant child labor in the United States and the “bankruptcies of companies and governments that sustain that labor.” .”

Dreier also won the 2019 Feature Writing Award for her stories about criminal gang MS-13 while writing for ProPublica.

In total, the Times and the Washington Post each won three Pulitzer Prizes on Monday. The latter was a co-winner in the National Reporting category for a “sobering investigation” into the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which “forced readers to reckon with the horrors caused by the weapon often used in mass shootings in America.” the committee said.