In the 100th year of the Pulitzer Prize, The Associated Press’ global reporting called “Seafood from Slaves” won the award for public service.
The series of stories chronicled how the fishing industry was using slave labor to put seafood in American kitchens and restaurants.
AP correspondent Martha Mendoza was one of the lead reporters for the investigation and spoke to NPR’s Morning Edition last year:
“The men AP found unloading seafood in Benjina were mostly from Myanmar, also known as Burma. When they realized one of the AP reporters spoke Burmese, ‘they began calling out, asking for help, and explaining that they were trapped and that they were being beaten and that they were enslaved,’ Mendoza tells NPR’s Renee Montagne.”
The reporting eventually freed 2,000 slaves, brought perpetrators to justice and catalyzed industry reforms.
The winner of the breaking news award went to the Los Angeles Times for its reporting during and after the San Bernardino shooting.
The prize for investigative reporting went to Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for their story about violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals. The Tampa Bay Times also won the Pulitzer for local reporting for its stories about how a school board turned schools into “failure factories” through segregationist policies.
“It was really a robust year for journalism,” said Mike Pride, administrator of The Pulitzer Prizes. “Some really, really good work was done on the major journalistic challenges of the year.”
Another notable winner was The Washington Post, which won the Pulitzer for its database that tracks when and why police fatally shot civilians.
The acclaimed musical Hamilton, about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, took the award for drama.
The journalism prizes are:
Public Service: Associated Press
Breaking News Reporting: Los Angeles Times Staff
Explanatory Reporting: T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project
Local Reporting: Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner of the Tampa Bay Times
National Reporting: The Washington Post Staff
International Reporting: Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times
Feature Writing: Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker
Commentary: Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe
Criticism: Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker
Editorial Writing: John Hackworth of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
Editorial Cartooning: Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee
Breaking News Photography: Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of The New York Times and Photography Staff of Thomson Reuters
Feature Photography: Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe
The arts and music prizes are:
Fiction: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
Drama: Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
History: Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)
Biography: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Penguin Press)
Poetry: Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian (University of Chicago Press)
Nonfiction: Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick (Doubleday)
Music: In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill (Pi Recordings)