NEW YORK — The Seattle Times staff took the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news Monday for its coverage of the Oso mudslide that killed 43 people and its exploration of whether the disaster could have been prevented.
The Seattle Times newsroom erupted in cheers after the award was announced.
The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for an examination of the deadly toll of domestic abuse, while The New York Times collected three awards and the Los Angeles Times two.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both won investigative reporting prizes, the Times for an examination of lobbyists’ influence on state attorneys general, the Journal for a project that shed new light on Medicare payments.
The Times’ coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa won Pulitzers for international reporting and feature photography. The Los Angeles Times’ prizes were for feature writing on the effects of California’s drought and for Mary McNamara’s television criticism.
Coverage of one of the biggest U.S. stories of the year — the deadly police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri — earned the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a Pulitzer for breaking news photography.
The prizes spanned news outlets large and small: The 70,000-circulation Daily Breeze of Torrance, California, won the local reporting award for exposing corruption in a school district.
Bloomberg News won its first Pulitzer: an explanatory reporting award for an examination of corporate tax dodging.
The Washington Post took the national reporting honor for revealing embarrassing lapses that led to an overhaul of the Secret Service.
The commentary prize went to the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Falkenberg, who examined the case of a man wrongfully convicted of killing a police officer, among other problems in the legal and immigration systems. Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe was recognized for editorial writing; she looked at restaurant workers’ low wages and examined the toll of income inequality.
Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News won the editorial cartooning prize.
The awards are American journalism’s highest honor. The Pulitzers recognize various categories of reporting, photography and opinion writing, as well as editorial cartooning.
The public service award consists of a gold medal; the other awards carry a prize of $10,000 each.
The prizes also honor drama, music and fiction and nonfiction books.
Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” a World War II novel that has been one of the top-selling literary works of the past year, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Pulitzer judges cited Doerr’s “imaginative and intricate novel,” which alternates brief chapters between a blind French girl and young Nazi soldier. Doerr, fittingly, was in Paris when the award was announced. A resident of Idaho, Doerr needed more than a decade to complete the book, more time than the war itself. He told The Associated Press that there were days when he thought “he would never finish the book” and was especially surprised by his Pulitzer since the book “contains no Americans.”
“Obviously, it’s wonderful,” he said of the prize, adding that he was enjoying ice cream with his family when his editor called to share the news.
Stephen Adly Guirgis’s “Between Riverside and Crazy” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, with judges hailing the New York playwright for using “dark comedy to confront questions of life and death.” The Pulitzer for general nonfiction went to “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” by Elizabeth Kolbert, whose work was praised by judges as “an exploration of nature that forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity.”
David I. Kertzer’s “The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe” won for biography-autobiography, and “Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People “ by Elizabeth A. Fenn, won for history.
The poetry prize was given to Gregory Pardlo’s “Digest” and Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields” won for music.