Pulitzer Prize board honours ‘courage’ of Ukrainian journalists

Journalists of Ukraine awarded a ‘special citation’ by prestigious Pulitzer board for coverage of Russia’s invasion.

A grave, in front of destroyed apartment blocks, of a civilian killed in the southern port city of Mariupol. Grave board reads: 'Kolesnikov Anatoly Ivanovich', 1957.04.08 - 2022.10.03
Pulitzer Prize administrator says Ukrainian journalists have persisted in their reporting 'despite bombardment, abductions, occupation and even deaths in their ranks' [File: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

The board of the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes has honoured Ukrainian journalists for their “courage, endurance and commitment to truthful reporting” on Russia’s continuing invasion of their country.

The board awarded a “special citation” to the journalists of Ukraine as New York’s Columbia University on Monday announced the 2022 winners of the annual journalism awards.

“The Pulitzer Prize board is pleased to award a special citation to the journalists of Ukraine for their courage, endurance and commitment to truthful reporting during Vladimir Putin’s ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda war in Russia,” said prize administrator Marjorie Miller.

“Despite bombardment, abductions, occupation and even deaths in their ranks, they have persisted in their effort to provide an accurate picture of a terrible reality, doing honour to Ukraine and to journalists around the world,” she added.

At least seven journalists, including three from Ukraine, have been killed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour on February 24, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

CPJ also says on its website that it is investigating five other journalists’ deaths in Ukraine “to determine if they were work-related”.

“Scores more have faced shelling, shooting and detention as they work to provide vital information about the invasion. Russian journalists have been detained and threatened during Moscow’s crackdown on independent Russian media, and many have fled the country,” the group says.

The annual Pulitzers are the most prestigious awards in US journalism, with special attention often paid to the public service award.

This year that prize went to the Washington Post for its coverage of the siege of the United States Capitol in January 2021, when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

The New York Times scooped up the most news Pulitzers this year with three.

The newspaper won the international reporting category for exposing the vast civilian toll of US-led bombings across the Middle East, including in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

It also took the award for national reporting for its investigation into deadly police traffic stops around the US.

Meanwhile, the Pulitzer board made note of the “challenging and dangerous times for journalists around the world”, noting that eight Mexican journalists were murdered this year while cases of assault and intimidation against journalists in Afghanistan and Myanmar also have been reported.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies