Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting

The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting is a Pulitzer Prize awarded for a distinguished example of breaking news, local reporting on news of the moment. It has been awarded since 1953 under several names:

  • From 1953 to 1963: Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, Edition Time
  • From 1964 to 1984: Pulitzer Prize for Local General or Spot News Reporting
  • From 1985 to 1990: Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting
  • From 1991 to 1997: Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting
  • From 1998 to present: Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting

Prior to 1953, a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting combined both breaking and investigative reporting under one category. The Pulitzer Committee issues an official citation explaining the reasons for the award.

Hitherto confined to local coverage, the Breaking News Reporting category was expanded to encompass state and national reporting in 2017.[1]

List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, Edition Time

  • 1953: Editorial Staff of Providence (RI) Journal and Evening Bulletin, "for their spontaneous and cooperative coverage of a bank robbery and police chase leading to the capture of the bandit."[2]
  • 1954: Staff of Vicksburg (MS) Sunday Post-Herald, "for its outstanding coverage of the tornado of December 5, 1953, under extraordinary difficulties."[3]
  • 1955: Caro Brown, Alice (TX) Daily Echo, "for a series of news stories dealing with the successful attack on one-man political rule in neighboring Duval County, written under unusual pressure both of edition time and difficult, even dangerous, circumstances. Mrs. Brown dug into the facts behind the dramatic daily events, as well, and obtained her stories in spite of the bitterest political opposition, showing professional skill and courage."[4]
  • 1956: Lee Hills, Detroit Free Press, ;'for his aggressive, resourceful and comprehensive front page reporting of the United Automobile Workers' negotiations with Ford and General Motors for a guaranteed annual wage."[5]
  • 1957: Staff of Salt Lake Tribune, "for its prompt and efficient coverage of the crash of two air liners over the Grand Canyon, in which 128 persons were killed."[6]
  • 1958: Staff of Fargo (ND) Forum, (ND)"for its swift, vivid and detailed news and picture coverage of a tornado which struck Fargo on June 20."[7]
  • 1959: Mary Lou Werner, The Evening Star, (Washington DC) "for her comprehensive year-long coverage of the integration crisis in Virginia which demonstrated admirable qualities of accuracy, speed and the ability to interpret the news under deadline pressure in the course of a difficult and taxing assignment"
  • 1960: Jack Nelson, The Atlanta Constitution, "for his reporting of abuses at the Milledgeville Central State Mental Hospital."[8]
  • 1961: Sanche De Gramont, (Ted Morgan) of the New York Herald Tribune "for his moving account of the death of Leonard Warren on the Metropolitan Opera stage."
  • 1962: Robert D. Mullins, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, "For his resourceful coverage of a murder and kidnapping at Dead Horse Point, Utah."
  • 1963: Sylvan Fox, Anthony Shannon, William Longgood, New York World-Telegram and Sun "for their reporting of an air crash in Jamaica Bay, killing 95 persons on March 1, 1962."

List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for Local General or Spot News Reporting

  • 1964: Norman C. Miller The Wall Street Journal, "for his comprehensive account of a multi-million dollar vegetable oil swindle in New Jersey.
  • 1965: Melvin H. Ruder Hungry Horse News, a weekly in Columbia Falls, MT, "for his daring and resourceful coverage of a disastrous flood that threatened his community, an individual effort in the finest tradition of spot news reporting.
  • 1966: Staff Los Angeles Times, "for its coverage of the Watts riots.
  • 1967: Robert V. Cox Chambersburg (PA) Public Opinion, "for his vivid deadline reporting of a mountain manhunt that ended with the killing of a deranged sniper who had terrorized the community.
  • 1968: Staff Detroit Free Press, "for its coverage of the Detroit riots of 1967, recognizing both the brilliance of its detailed spot news staff work and its swift and accurate investigation into the underlying causes of the tragedy.
  • 1969: John Fetterman Louisville (TN) Times and Courier-Journal, "for his article, "Pfc. Gibson Comes Home," the story of an American soldier whose body was returned to his native town from Vietnam for burial.
  • 1970: Thomas Fitzpatrick Chicago Sun-Times, "for his article about the violence of youthful radicals in Chicago, "A Wild Night's Ride With SDS."
  • 1971: Staff Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, "for its coverage of the Kent State University tragedy on May 4, 1970.
  • 1972: Richard Cooper and John Machacek Rochester (NY) Times-Union, "for their coverage of the Attica, New York prison riot.
  • 1973: Staff Chicago Tribune, "for uncovering flagrant violations of voting procedures in the primary election of March 21, 1972.
  • 1974: Arthur M. Petacque and Hugh F. Hough Chicago Sun-Times, "for uncovering new evidence that led to the reopening of efforts to solve the 1966 murder of Valerie Percy.
  • 1975: Staff Xenia (OH) Daily Gazette, "for its coverage, under enormous difficulties, of the tornado that wrecked the city on April 3, 1974.
  • 1976: Gene Miller Miami Herald, "for his persistent and courageous reporting over eight and one-half years that led to the exoneration and release of two men who had twice been tried for murder and wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Florida.
  • 1977: Margo Huston The Milwaukee Journal, "for her reports on the elderly and the process of aging.
  • 1978: Richard Whitt Louisville Courier-Journal, "for his coverage of a fire that took 164 lives at the Beverly Hills Supper Club at Southgate, Ky., and subsequent investigation of the lack of enforcement of state fire codes.
  • 1979: Staff San Diego Evening Tribune, "for its coverage of the collision of a Pacific Southwest air liner with a small plane over its city.
  • 1980: Staff The Philadelphia Inquirer, "for coverage of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.
  • 1981: Staff Longview (WA) Daily News, "for its coverage of the Mt. St. Helens story, including the photographs by Roger A. Werth.
  • 1982: Staff Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times, "for coverage of the Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster and identification of its causes.
  • 1983: Editorial Staff Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel, "for its courageous and resourceful coverage of a devastating flood in March 1982.
  • 1984: Newsday team of reporters Newsday, Long Island, NY, "for their enterprising and comprehensive coverage of the Baby Jane Doe case and its far-reaching social and political implications.

List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting

  • 1985: Thomas Turcol of the Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, (Norfolk, Va.) "for City Hall coverage which exposed the corruption of a local economic development official."
  • 1986: Edna Buchanan of the Miami Herald, "for her versatile and consistently excellent police beat reporting."
  • 1987: Staff of the Akron Beacon Journal, "for its coverage, under deadline pressure, of the attempted takeover of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. by a European financier."
  • 1988: Staff of the Alabama Journal (Montgomery), "for its compelling investigation of the state's unusually high infant-mortality rate, which prompted legislation to combat the problem."
  • 1988: Staff of Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, "for an investigation that revealed serious flaws in the Massachusetts prison furlough system and led to significant statewide reforms."
  • 1989: Staff of Louisville Courier-Journal, "for its exemplary initial coverage of a bus crash that claimed 27 lives and its subsequent thorough and effective examination of the causes and implications of the tragedy."
  • 1990: Staff of San Jose Mercury News, "for its detailed coverage of the October 17, 1989, Bay Area earthquake and its aftermath."

List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting

List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting


  1. ^ http://www.pulitzer.org/news/pulitzer-board-expands-eligibility-breaking-news-prize-category
  2. ^ "1953 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1953.
  3. ^ "1954 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1954.
  4. ^ "1955 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1955.
  5. ^ "1956 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1956.
  6. ^ "1957 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1957.
  7. ^ "1958 Pulitzer Prize Winners". New York City: Pulitzer Prize Board. 1958.
  8. ^ Jack Nelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, dies at 80 (Oct. 21, 2009)
  9. ^ "Shooting coverage wins Pulitzer". 3 News NZ. April 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". Pulitzer.org. April 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "Breaking News Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Breaking News Reporting".
  13. ^ "Breaking News Reporting".


1999 Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prizes for 1999 were announced on April 12, 1999.

Barbara Strauch

Barbara Ellen Strauch (May 10, 1951 – April 15, 2015) was an American author, reporter, and newspaper editor. In 1992, she and the New York Newsday staff won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting.

Bryan Gruley

Bryan Gruley (born November 1957) is an American writer. He has shared a Pulitzer Prize for journalism and been nominated for the "first novel" Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

Daniel Henninger

Daniel Henninger is a conservative American commentator. He serves as the deputy editorial page director of The Wall Street Journal, and is a Fox News contributor.

Dennis Clontz

Dennis Clontz (April 10, 1951 – June 14, 2004) was an American playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. He was one of the inaugural recipients of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting in 1986. Clontz was part of a team of Los Angeles Times journalists awarded a 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting on the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Clontz earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles. Plays by Clontz include Generations, Night Breath, Interfusions, Fire/Photograph, American Play, and A Match Made in Heaven.

Clontz died of lung cancer. His heirs have announced planned publication of a posthumous collection of his plays and poems.

Jim Dwyer (journalist)

Jim Dwyer (born March 4, 1957) is an American journalist who is a reporter and columnist with The New York Times, and the author or co-author of six non-fiction books. A native New Yorker, Dwyer wrote columns for New York Newsday and the New York Daily News before joining the Times. He graduated from the Loyola School (New York City), earned a bachelor's degree in general science from Fordham University in 1979 and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1980. He appeared in the 2012 documentary film Central Park Five and was portrayed on stage in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy [2013].

Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas (born February 3, 1981) is a journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist. Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States from the age of twelve, he was part of The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting online and in print. Vargas has also worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Daily News, and The Huffington Post. He wrote, produced, and directed the autobiographical 2013 film, Documented, which CNN Films broadcast in June 2014.

In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S. and to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would provide children in similar circumstances with a path to citizenship. A year later, a day after the publication of his Time cover story about his continued uncertainty regarding his immigration status, the Obama administration announced it was halting the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under, who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. Vargas, who had just turned 31, did not qualify.Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit organization intended to open up dialogue about the criteria people use to determine who is an American. He has said: "I am an American. I just don't have the right papers."In September 2018 his memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by Dey Street.

Lisa Chedekel

Lisa S. Chedekel (died January 12, 2018) was an American investigative journalist. At the Hartford Courant in 1998 she was on the team that provided "clear and detailed coverage of a shooting rampage in which a state lottery worker killed four supervisors then himself", and won next year's Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting with that citation.Still at the Courant in 2006, she wrote stories on military mental health care won some national awards. She and Matthew Kauffman were finalists for the Investigative Reporting Pulitzer, citing "their in-depth reports on suicide among American soldiers in Iraq, leading to congressional and military action to address mental health problems raised in the stories."In 2002, she was one of a few American journalists to visit and report from Saudi Arabia. In December 2010, she co-founded the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, a non-profit investigative news service focusing on health and safety.

Michael S. Schmidt

Michael S. Schmidt (born September 1983) is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, author, and correspondent for The New York Times in Washington, D.C. and national security contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. He covers national security and federal law enforcement and has broken several high-profile stories. Among the stories was the existence of Hillary Clinton's private email account. He won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the news that President Trump had asked the F.B.I. director James B. Comey for a loyalty pledge, and to close the federal investigation into his former national security adviser. That story led the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump.Schmidt also broke several stories about doping in baseball. With another reporter at the Times, Schmidt won a Pulitzer Prize for a story about sexual harassment allegations against Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly that led to Fox firing O'Reilly. He shared the 2018 Pulizer Prize for Public Service and the 2018 Gerald Loeb Award for Investigative business journalism for stories on the sexual predator allegtions against film producer Harvey Weinstein that led to the rise of the Me Too movement.

Michael Slackman

Michael Slackman is an American journalist for The New York Times. He is the paper's International Editor. He reported being fired upon at Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout, February 18, 2011.

Mitchell Landsberg

Mitchell Landsberg is an American journalist and newspaper editor. Since 2018 he has been the foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times.Landsberg was born November 1, 1953 in Sacramento, California. He received a bachelor's degree in history from UCLA in 1976.After graduation he worked at the Beverly Hills Independent and the Ukiah Daily Journal. In 1980 he went to work for the Associated Press, where he was a reporter, editor, and foreign correspondent for 19 years, moving to the Times in 1989. At the Times he reported on local and national politics, including coverage of the 2000 Florida recount, the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.Landsberg was one of three journalists cited by name when the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting was given to the Los Angeles Times for "compelling and comprehensive coverage of the massive wildfires that imperiled a populated region of southern California." He was the lead writer for a 70-member team covering the fire stories. The next year, his reporting contributed to the newspaper's winning of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He and three other reporters were credited for a "courageous, exhaustively researched series exposing deadly medical problems and racial injustice at a major public hospital", the King/Drew Medical Center.

Norman Charles Miller

Norman Charles Miller (born October 2, 1934) is an American journalist who worked for The Wall Street Journal.

Robert D. McFadden

Robert Dennis McFadden (born February 11, 1937) is an American journalist who has worked for The New York Times since 1961. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996.

Robert D. Mullins

Robert D. Mullins (December 16, 1924 - June 8, 2016) won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting - Edition time (now called Breaking News Reporting) for his work July 4–10, 1961, relating to a murder in Grand County, Utah. At the time he was the Price Bureau chief for the Deseret News, where he worked from 1951 to 1987. He served in the United States military during World War II.

Rone Tempest

Rone Tempest is an American journalist, investigative reporter for www.wyofile.com, and consultant to the ProPublica.

He won a 1997 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Working for the Los Angeles Times, he shared the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting, for its coverage of the Old Fire, a wildfire in October 2003.

Rose Arce

Rose Arce is Executive Producer of Starfish Media Group, the production company of television journalist Soledad O'Brien. She was formerly a Senior Producer at CNN. Arce graduated from Barnard College in 1986. She shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 as well as three Emmys for news reporting.

The Press Democrat

The Press Democrat, with the largest circulation in the California North Bay (San Francisco Bay Area), is a daily newspaper published in Santa Rosa, California.

The paper received the 2004 George Polk Award for Regional Reporting given annually by Long Island University to honor contributions to journalistic integrity and investigative reporting.

Annie Wells of the Press Democrat won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography "for her dramatic photograph of a local firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters." The Press Democrat staff also won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for "[f]or lucid and tenacious coverage of historic wildfires that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County."

Trymaine Lee

Trymaine D. Lee (born September 20, 1978) is an American journalist. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Hurricane Katrina as part of a team at The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. From 2006 to 2010, Lee wrote for The New York Times and from early 2011 to November 2012 he was a senior reporter at The Huffington Post. Since then Lee is a national reporter for MSNBC, where he writes for the network's digital arm.

Wisconsin State Journal

The Wisconsin State Journal is a daily newspaper published in Madison, Wisconsin by Lee Enterprises. The newspaper, the second largest in Wisconsin, is primarily distributed in a 19 county region in south-central Wisconsin. As of September 2018, the Wisconsin State Journal had an average weekday circulation of 51,303 and an average Sunday circulation of 64,820.The staff of the Wisconsin State Journal were named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2012 for their coverage of the "27 days of around-the-clock protests" at the state Capitol during the 2011 Wisconsin protests. Its editorial board was named a Pulitzer finalist in 2008 for its "persistent, high-spirited campaign against abuses in the governor's veto power."

Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting

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