Pulitzer Prizes: New York Times Wins 3; Daily News and ProPublica Share Public Service Award

Sydney Ember

The New York Times won three Pulitzer Prizes, and The New York Daily News and ProPublica shared the prize for public service, as journalism presented its highest honors on Monday at a time of steep financial challenges for the industry and unabashed antagonism from a new presidential administration.

The Daily News-ProPublica joint effort won for a series on the New York Police Department's widespread abuse of a decades-old law to force people from their homes and businesses over alleged illegal activity.

The investigation, which involved the examination of more than 1,100 nuisance abatement cases, found that the Police Department almost exclusively targeted households and shops in minority neighborhoods. The reporting drove New York City to re-examine the nuisance law and pass sweeping reforms.

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The Times won for breaking news photography, feature writing and international reporting. Daniel Berehulak won for a searing photo essay titled "They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals" that provided a haunting portrait of a violent drug crackdown in the Philippines.

C. J. Chivers won for a magazine piece on a young veteran of the war in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD. At times dizzyingly detailed, Mr. Chivers's account revealed the lasting effects of combat and violence. Reporters from The Times also won for international reporting for a series on Russia's surreptitious assertion of power. The series, a collaboration among The Times's international, Washington and investigative teams, explored how Russia was expanding its influence at home and abroad.

David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post won the prize for national reporting for his work during the presidential campaign on Donald J. Trump's charitable foundation. And Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal won the commentary award for columns that the Pulitzer board said "connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns."

Colson Whitehead's brutal and surreal novel "The Underground Railroad" won the prize for fiction. The novel, which won the National Book Award last fall, centers on a young woman who escapes her life as a slave in Georgia and flees via a real subterranean network of train cars. Mr. Whitehead, 47, said in a phone interview on Monday that to be given even more recognition by the Pulitzer committee was "startling and wonderful," adding with a laugh, "Obviously, it's all downhill from here."

Lynn Nottage's play "Sweat," about the American working class, was awarded the prize for drama. And the drama critic Hilton Als of The New Yorker won for criticism.

The Pulitzers this year come as financial pressure drains many news organizations of the resources to pursue top-flight journalism. They also come in the face of a combative stance from President Trump, who has called the news media "the enemy of the American people."

But for one day, at least, newsrooms came together in celebration, and the journalism industry's focus was on its accomplishments and purpose, rather than its woes.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and The Miami Herald shared the prize for explanatory reporting for their coverage of millions of leaked documents known as the Panama Papers. (The Herald also won in another category — Jim Morin was awarded the prize for editorial cartooning.)

Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette-Mail won the investigative reporting prize for coverage that laid bare the relentless flow of opioids into West Virginia counties with the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country. The East Bay Times of Oakland, Calif., won the breaking news reporting prize for its coverage of the "Ghost Ship" fire in December that killed 36 people at a warehouse party, chronicling the city's failures that led to the tragedy. The prize for editorial writing was awarded to Art Cullen of The Storm Lake Times, a twice-weekly newspaper in Iowa with a circulation of 3,000, for editorials that held corporate agricultural interests accountable. The Times is owned by Mr. Cullen and his older brother.

Alexandra Alter contributed reporting.