Investigation of Trump’s Charity Wins Pulitzer Prize

CORRECTS FROM BARRON TO BARON - Washington Post editor Martin Baron, left, joins the paper's staff in congratulating David Fahrenthold, center, upon learning that he won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, for dogged reporting of Donald Trump's philanthropy, in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington on Monday, April 10, 2017. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via AP)
David Fahrenthold
Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via AP Washington Post editor Martin Baron, left, joins the paper’s staff in congratulating David Fahrenthold, center, upon learning that he won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, for dogged reporting of Donald Trump’s philanthropy, in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington, D.C., on Monday, April 10, 2017.

NEW YORK — The biggest U.S. news story of 2016 — the tumultuous presidential campaign — yielded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for the Washington Post reporter who not only raised doubts about Donald Trump’s charitable giving but also revealed that the candidate had been recorded crudely bragging about grabbing women.

David A. Fahrenthold won the prize for national reporting, with the judges citing stories that examined Trump’s charitable foundation and called into question whether the real estate magnate was as generous as he claimed.

Fahrenthold’s submission also included his story about Trump’s raunchy behind-the-scenes comments during a 2005 taping of “Access Hollywood.” His talk about groping women’s genitals rocked the White House race and prompted a rare apology from the then-candidate.

In another election-related prize, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal won the Pulitzer for commentary for columns that “connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation’s most divisive political campaigns.”

The judges said Fahrenthold’s reporting “created a model for transparent journalism,” a model he built partly by using Twitter to publicize his efforts and let Trump see what he was doing. The president “can expect to see more of me on Twitter,” said Fahrenthold, now part of a team looking at Trump businesses.

American journalism’s most distinguished prizes also recognized work that shed light on international financial intrigue and held local officials accountable.

The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer in public service for uncovering how authorities used an obscure law, originally enacted to crack down on prostitution in Times Square in the 1970s, to evict hundreds of people, mostly poor minorities, from their homes.

“Thanks to this investigation, New York now sees how an extremely muscular law, combined with aggressive policing, combined with a lack of counsel, combined with lax judges produced damaging miscarriages of justice,” Daily News Editor in Chief Arthur Browne said. The Daily News reporter credited with most of the work was Sarah Ryley.

ProPublica’s managing editor, Robin Fields, said the project was “the type of collaboration that ProPublica had in mind” when the independent, nonprofit organization was launched nine years ago.

The New York Times’ staff received the international reporting award for its work on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to project Moscow’s power abroad. The award in feature writing went to the Times’ C.J. Chivers for a story about a Marine’s descent into violence after returning home from war.

Winners ranged from partnerships spanning hundreds of reporters to newspapers as small as The Storm Lake Times, a twice-weekly, 3,000-circulation family-owned paper in Iowa. Co-owner Art Cullen won the editorial writing award for challenging powerful corporate agricultural interests in the state.

Cullen said he was stunned by the win. “Nobody’s ever heard of us before,” he said with a laugh.

The prize for explanatory reporting went to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and the Miami Herald, which amassed a group of over 400 journalists to examine the leaked “Panama Papers” and expose the way that politicians, criminals and rich people stashed money in offshore accounts.

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Jim Morin won the award for editorial cartooning. He also won in 1996.

Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette-Mail received the investigative reporting prize for articles showing that drug wholesalers had shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in six years, as 1,728 people fatally overdosed on the painkillers. Eyre obtained Drug Enforcement Administration records that leading drug wholesalers had fought in court to keep secret.

The staff of the East Bay Times in Oakland, California, received the breaking news reporting award for its coverage of a fire that killed 36 people at a warehouse party and for its follow-up reporting on how local officials hadn’t taken action that might have prevented it.

Executive Editor Neil Chase said the award was “tremendously humbling,” but “you have to pause and realize that 36 people died in the fire, and this story should have never happened.”

The staff of The Salt Lake Tribune received the local reporting award for its work on how Brigham Young University treated sexual assault victims. The series prompted the Mormon school to stop conducting honor code investigations into students who reported being sexually assaulted.

Hilton Als, a theater critic for The New Yorker, won in the criticism category. The judges praised how he strove to connect theater to the real-world, “shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.”

Freelancer Daniel Berehulak received the breaking news photography award for his images, published in The New York Times, documenting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drug dealers and users. Berehulak won the feature photography Pulitzer in 2015 for his work on the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

This year’s feature photography winner was E. Jason Wambsgans of the Chicago Tribune, for his portrayal of a 10-year-old boy who had been shot.

Amid concern about fake news and the role of the media, “it’s just a very important time to try to help people see the importance of great journalism in their lives and in the democracy,” prize administrator Mike Pride said as the awards were announced at Columbia University .

Arts prizes are awarded in seven categories, including fiction, drama and music. Among the arts winners, Colson Whitehead took the fiction prize for “The Underground Railroad,” a novel that combined flights of imagination with the grimmest and most realistic detail of 19th-century slavery. Playwright Lynn Nottage won her second drama Pulitzer, for “Sweat.”

This is the 101st year of the contest, established by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Public service award winners receive a gold medal; the other awards carry a prize of $15,000 each.

Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Washington and David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report, along with AP radio correspondent Warren Levinson.

The complete list of 2017 Pulitzer Prize winners:


–Public Service

Winner: New York Daily News and ProPublica

Finalists: Chicago Tribune; Houston Chronicle

–Breaking News Reporting

Winner: Staff of East Bay Times (Oakland, California)

Finalists: Dallas Morning News staff; Orlando Sentinel staff

–Investigative Reporting

Winner: Eric Eyre of the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail

Finalists: Michael J. Berens and Patricia Callahan of the Chicago Tribune; Steve Reilly of the USA Today Network

–Explanatory Reporting

Winner: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald

Finalists: Joan Garrett McClane and Joy Lukachick Smith of the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Times Free Press; Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, Lauren Kirchner and Terry Parris Jr. of ProPublica; staff of National Geographic

–Local Reporting

Winner: The Salt Lake Tribune Staff

Finalists: Jenna Russell, Maria Cramer, Michael Rezendes, Todd Wallack and Scott Helman of the Boston Globe; Michael Schwirtz, Michael Winerip and Robert Gebeloff of the New York Times

–National Reporting

Winner: David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post

Finalists: Renee Dudley, Steve Stecklow, Alexandra Harney and other members of the Reuters staff; the Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff

–International Reporting

Winner: The New York Times staff

Finalists: Chris Hamby of BuzzFeed News; International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and the Miami Herald; the Wall Street Journal staff

–Feature Writing

Winner: C.J. Chivers of the New York Times

Finalists: Adam Entous and Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal; Eli Saslow of The Washington Post


Winner: Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal

Finalists: Dahleen Glanton of the Chicago Tribune; Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Media Network


Winner: Hilton Als of the New Yorker

Finalists: Laura Reiley of the Tampa Bay (Florida) Times; Ty Burr of the Boston Globe

–Editorial Writing

Winner: Art Cullen of the Storm Lake (Iowa) Times

Finalists: Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post; Joe Holley and Evan Mintz of the Houston Chronicle

–Editorial Cartooning

Winner: Jim Morin of the Miami Herald

Finalists: Jen Sorensen, freelance cartoonist; Steve Sack of the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

–Breaking News Photography

Winner: Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer

Finalists: Jonathan Bachman, freelance photographer; photography staff of the Associated Press

–Feature Photography

Winner: E. Jason Wambsgans of the Chicago Tribune

Finalists: Jake May of the Flint (Michigan) Journal; Katie Falkenberg of the Los Angeles Times



Winner: “The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead

Finalists: “Imagine Me Gone,” by Adam Haslett; “The Sport of Kings,” by C. E. Morgan


Winner: “Sweat,” by Lynn Nottage

Finalists: “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” by Taylor Mac; “The Wolves,” by Sarah DeLappe


Winner: “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy,” by Heather Ann Thompson

Finalists: “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It,” by Larrie D. Ferreiro; “New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America,” by Wendy Warren

–Biography or Autobiography

Winner: “The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between,” by Hisham Matar

Finalists: “In the Darkroom,” by Susan Faludi; “When Breath Becomes Air,” by Paul Kalanithi


Winner: “Olio,” by Tyehimba Jess

Finalists: “Collected Poems: 1950-2012,” by Adrienne Rich; “XX,” by Campbell McGrath

–General Nonfiction

Winner: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond

Finalists: “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” by John Donvan and Caren Zucker; “The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery,” by Micki McElya


Winner: “Angel’s Bone,” by Du Yun

Finalists: “Bound to the Bow,” by Ashley Fure; “Ipsa Dixit,” by Kate Soper

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