News World Aretha Franklin makes history with Pulitzer win
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Aretha Franklin makes history with Pulitzer win

Aretha Franklin Pulitzer
Aretha Franklin was recognised “for her indelible contribution to American music". Photo: Getty
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Late singer Aretha Franklin has made history by becoming the first individual woman to win a rare, posthumous Pulitzer Prize, adding to her already long list of accolades.

Also honoured were reporters and news outlets for coverage of mass shootings in the US, and investigations into President Donald Trump. 

The Pulitzer Prizes are considered the most prestigious awards in arts and journalism in America.

Franklin, who died in August 2018, received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture”, the 18-member prize board announced on Tuesday (Australian time).

She is one of fewer than a dozen musicians – and the first female artist – to receive the special citation for the arts since it was first awarded in 1930.

Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper, where a gunman opened fire in June 2018, killing five staff members, was also awarded a special citation for its “courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in US history”.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” reporter Chase Cook said.

“Since it’s so connected to something so tragic, there was no euphoric pop-off of excitement.”

The Pulitzer board also gave the Capital Gazette $100,000 to “further the newspaper’s journalistic mission”.

Five people were shot and killed in the daily newspapers newsroom by a lone gunman. Photo: Getty 

The South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of mass shootings in the US.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel won the public service prize for its reporting of the February 2018 Parkland high school shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff members.

In breaking news reporting, the Pulitzer went to the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its “immersive, compassionate coverage” of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in October 2018, in which 11 people were killed.

Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, are also among the prizewinners, for revealing the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces. 

The two honourees, both Myanmar citizens, have been jailed for 490 days in Myanmar for their role in uncovering the killings, in the heart of the conflict zone of Rakhine State.

A number of Indonesian journalists held a rally outside the Myanmar’s embassy in Jakarta in September 2018, urging officials to free Wa lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Photo: Getty

The New York Times also won a prize for explanatory reporting of Mr Trump’s finances and tax avoidance, and another for editorial writing by Brent Staples.

The Washington Post‘s Lorenzo Tugnoli won the feature photography prize for images of the famine in Yemen and the newspaper’s Carlos Lozado also won for criticism.

The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for uncovering Mr Trump’s secret payoffs to two women during his campaign who claimed to have had affairs with him.

-with AAP

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