Here are the women who just won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize
On Monday, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners were announced — and amongst them were quite a few wonderfully talented women. This is, of course, a huge deal; and the winners each received $10,000 along with their invaluable titles. As basically the highest honor the United States offers for excellence in journalism, musical composition, and the literary arts, we couldn’t be more excited to see such well-deserving candidates get their due and receive recognition for their hard work.
Below are your winners — and in celebration of this tremendous honor, we’ve linked to a few of their must-read stories (and trust us, they’re amazing).
Jennifer Berry Hawes and Natalia Caula Hauff — Public Service (The Post and Courier)
Along with Doug Pardue and Glenn Smith, Hawes and Hauff won the most prestigious award for their essential reporting work on domestic violence in South Carolina (“among the deadliest states in the union for women“), which brought the issue to light and “put the issue of what to do about it on the state’s agenda.” The series is incredibly powerful and important, and the award well-deserved.
Must-read stories (we recommend the whole thing):
- Till death do us part: Part one
- Till death do us part: Part three
- Till death do us part: Part four
- Till death do us part: Part seven
Rebecca Kimitch — Local Reporting (Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA)
Along with Frank Suraci and Rob Kuznia, Kimitch won the Daily Breeze‘s first ever Pulitzer for their investigative work on the widespread corruption of Centinela Valley, “a small, cash-strapped school district” in southern California.
- The year in the Centinela Valley school district pay scandal
- Centinela Valley school district spends more than double the state average on administration
- Activist file suit against Centinela Valley school district, calls for more transparency
Carol D. Leonnig — National Reporting (The Washington Post)
Leonnig was awarded the National Reporting prize for her coverage on the Secret Service — particularly its security lapses and how the agency failed to protect the President of the United States on multiple occasions over the past year (including as recently as this month).
- Critical decisions after 9/11 led to slow, steady decline in quality for Secret Service
- The night bullets hit the White House — and the Secret Service didn’t know (this piece is interactive and very cool)
- White House fence jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known
Diana Marcum — Feature Writing (Los Angeles Times)
Marcum’s incredible reporting on how the California drought has affected people in the Central Valley was in depth and extremely personal, bringing both a “nuanced. . . and empathetic perspective to the story.”
- A parched farm town is sinking, and so are its residents hearts
- ‘Hi, do you have water?’ In a central Calif. town, answer is often no
- California drought imperils a dream
Lisa Falkenberg — Commentary (Houston Chronicle)
Falkenberg was awarded the Pulitzer for Commentary for her astounding reporting work on the case behind Alfred Dewayne Brown, a man who was condemned for killing a Houston police officer after a grand jury pressured a key witness into lying on the stand. It is the paper’s first Pulitzer.
- Wheels of justice grind slowly on death row
- A disturbing glimpse into the shrouded world of the Texas grand jury system
- Questionable murder case keeps on crumbling
Mary McNamara — Criticism (Los Angeles Times)
McNamara was awarded the Pulitzer for her “savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider’s view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television.” We are all about pop culture criticism at HelloGiggles, and McNamara pulls it off with ease and intelligence.
- How TV’s age of exploration put viewers in control
- Binge watching, that great American pastime, can also be good medicine
- Broadcasting the big strides in TV diversity
Kathleen Kingsbury — Editorial Writing (The Boston Globe)
Kingsbury’s investigative work helped show the real “price” behind our super cheap fast food meals, and the very real effect income inequality has on so many. It was an amazing critique on how people view food without considering the people serving it.
- The true cost of a cheap meal
- For many restaurant workers, fair conditions not on the menu
- Diners should demand high quality for workers as well as the food
Elizabeth A. Fenn — History
Fenn received her Pulitzer for Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, which was “an engrossing, original narrative showing the Mandans, a Native American tribe in the Dakotas, as a people with a history.” Fenn’s work is always a labor of love, and her latest was no exception.
- Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
- Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82
- Natives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina before 1770
Elizabeth Kolbert — General Nonfiction
Kolbert was awarded the Pulitzer for General Nonfiction for her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, which explores how human behavior has affected the world for the worse, and how the next extinction is likely to be mankind’s “legacy.” As a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999, Kolbert is no stranger to smart writing and her book totally lives up to the hype.
- Stone soup: How the Paleolithic life style got trendy
- Our neanderthals, ourselves
- The meaning of Siberia’s mystery craters
Julia Wolfe — Music
Wolfe won her Pulitzer for “Anthracite Fields,” which premiered last April in Philadelphia. The “oratorio for chorus and sextet” was written to evoke “Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century.” All of Wolfe’s compositions are absolutely wonderful and well worth a listen.
For the rest of the winners, click here.