Teen who recorded George Floyd’s death receives Pulitzer recognition

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Special Pulitzer Awarded, to Woman Who Filmed Murder of George Floyd.The Pulitzer Prize Board announced the special citation for Darnella Frazier.[Frazier is honored] for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists' quest for truth and justice, Aminda Marqués González, Pulitzer Prize Board co-chair, via CNN.Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for significant works of journalism.The three major stories recognized by the board include the pandemic, .the presidential election .and the fight for social justice.The magnitude of these stories and the pace at which they unfolded pushed many in the news business to the limits of endurance, Aminda Marqués González, Pulitzer Prize Board co-chair, via CNN.Much of the great work this year came against the backdrop of unfathomable loss as our colleagues and fellow citizens mourn the deaths of more than 600,000 people from COVID, Aminda Marqués González, Pulitzer Prize Board co-chair, via CNN.The New York Times received the prize for public service, the highest honor bestowed by the Pulitzer Prize Board

NEW YORK — The Pulitzer Prizes awarded a special citation to the teen who filmed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Darnella Frazier.

The New York Times won the public service award Friday for its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, while the Star Tribune of Minneapolis won the breaking news award for its reporting following Floyd’s killing. The Associated Press won two awards, sweeping the photography category.

Frazier’s award was intended to highlight “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice,” while the board called the Tribune’s prize-winning coverage “urgent, authoritative and nuanced.”

The feature photography prize went to AP’s chief photographer in Spain, Emilio Morenatti, who captured haunting images of an older couple embracing through a plastic sheet, mortuary workers in hazmat gear removing bodies and of people enduring the crisis in isolation.

Residents look at the street through a window at the Icaria nursing home in Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 25, 2020. The image was part of a series by Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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Residents look at the street through a window at the Icaria nursing home in Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 25, 2020. The image was part of a series by Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Credit: Emilio Morenatti

Credit: Emilio Morenatti

The breaking news prize for protest coverage was shared by 10 AP photographers. One widely reproduced photograph by Julio Cortez on the night of May 28 in riot-torn Minneapolis shows a lone, silhouetted protester running with an upside-down American flag past a burning liquor store.

A protester carries a U.S. flag upside down, a sign of distress, next to a burning building, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. The image was part of a series of photographs by The Associated Press that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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A protester carries a U.S. flag upside down, a sign of distress, next to a burning building, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. The image was part of a series of photographs by The Associated Press that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: Julio Cortez

Credit: Julio Cortez

The Star Tribune won for breaking news for its coverage of the May 25, 2020 killing of Floyd and the resulting civil unrest that tore through the city. Floyd, a Black man, died as he was being pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Video of the killing sparked a wave of protests, first in the Twin Cities and then nationwide. Star Tribune journalists covered the rage in Minneapolis, where protesters burned buildings including a police station.

The officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds was later convicted of murder.

The New York Times won its public service prize for pandemic coverage the judges said was “courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage” and “filled the data vacuum” for the general public. Wesley Morris of the Times won for criticism touching on the intersection of race and culture.

The Boston Globe received the investigative reporting Pulitzer for a series demonstrating how poor government oversight imperils road safety.

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory praised his staff’s winning coverage for the investigative reporting Pulitzer.

“Globe journalists covering that deadly crash on an isolated stretch of highway in New Hampshire quickly discovered an appalling number of lapses on the part of our government, and wouldn’t let go,” McGrory said. “They pried out an enormous amount of vital data. They practiced tireless shoe-leather reporting. What they produced has created immediate reforms, resulted in deadly drivers being taken off the road, and has surely saved lives.”

Brendan McCarthy, the editor on the series, said the Globe “quickly found that this kind of tragedy had been happening year after year for decades. The problems were in plain sight but had never been addressed.”

The prize for explanatory reporting was shared by two recipients, including Reuters. Ed Yong of The Atlantic won for a series of deeply reported and accessible articles about the pandemic.

This is the second such ceremony to be pushed back amid the pandemic. Last year’s announcement was pushed back two weeks to give board members busy covering the pandemic more time to evaluate the finalists.

The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were first awarded in 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor in the United States.

The awards luncheon traditionally held at Columbia University in May also is postponed.