Special quote attributed to Darnella Frazier, the 18-year-old who filming Floyd’s last breath with her mobile phone
The death of George Floyd, the riots of African Americans following police violence, black pride was the dominant theme of the Pulitzer, whose winners, in the 22 categories, were announced today. Together with another mainstay of the awards: the pandemic, the year lived with the drama of the coronavirus. From the Associated Press photographs of the riots in America, to the symbolic image of the hug in plastic protections between two elderly people (AP too), to the New York Times ‘public service’ coverage of everything from health to crisis economic was the story of a year ‘behind the data curve’.
A premise above all: the year lived dangerously by the world of information, a front line entirely oriented to avoid false news, to give due weight to the many inaccurate news, a slalom between true and false that with themes such as world health and racism has had “never more than this year” a decisive value, as has been said by Mindy Marques and Stephen Engelberg, presidents of the organization that awards the Pulitzers from Colombia University: “An unprecedented year also for the world of journalism called to tell the complexity of the coronavirus emergency, the racial showdown and the turbulent contested presidential elections “. The crucial role of information for democracy is reiterated. There hasn’t been a moment in which more than this there was a need to document, tell, highlight with clarity and truth what was happening ».
The Floyd affair has also brought out the value of citizen-reporters as powerful in documenting facts that otherwise would not have had light. In this sense, the prestigious recognition goes, a special quote attributed to Darnella Frazier, the 18-year-old who, filming Floyd’s last breath under the mortal knee of the Minneapolis policeman with her mobile phone, made public the brutality of that death with all that is happened later. In the news categories, awards went to, among others, Floyd coverage of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Boston Globe for the investigation into state governments’ misinformation on dangerous truck drivers. Reuters’ Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts ex aequo with The Atlantic’s Ed Yong won for Explanatory Reporting; Staffs of The Marshall Project; AL.com, Birmingham; IndyStar, Indianapolis; and the Invisible Institute, Chicago for national reporting for a long investigation into K-9 units and the damage of police dogs, while for International Reporting the winners were Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News, New York who unveiled to the world a new infrastructure built by the Chinese government for the mass detention of Muslims.
For the book categories he won for the fiction The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (Harper), a novel of struggles of the Native Americans in 1950, for the dramas The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall a funny story about black masculinity through the experience of life of a gay couple preparing for a culinary competition; for the story Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright / Norton), a portrait of how the struggle for civil rights is intertwined with the fate of black fast food businesses, for the biography still dominant black theme with The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by the late Les Payne and Tamara Payne (Liveright / Norton). for Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press), for the non-fiction Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, by David Zucchino (Atlantic Monthly Press), for the music Stride by Tania León.