Community Issues

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Among Papers Honored For Coverage of Mass Shootings

The Post-Gazette was awarded a Pulitzer for staff's coverage of the Tree of Life shooting. The Sun Sentinel, Capital Gazette were also honored.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been honored with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill.

While the staff is being honored for its coverage, Executive Editor Keith Burris says it is impossible to view the event as a celebration after 11 people were killed in the October 27 attack.

The Pulitzer judges cited 10 pieces of work by the Post-Gazette as part of the award, including a headline that included the opening words to a Jewish prayer of mourning, printed in Hebrew .

"That just took my breath away. That a newspaper would publish something like that, it still leaves me speechless," said Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life, who called the award a "wonderful accomplishment" despite such a tragic subject matter.

The Post-Gazette was last awarded a Pulitzer in 1998.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The committee cited the paper's coverage of the attack and the following movement around gun safety, as well as its investigative reporting into mistakes made by the Broward County Sheriff's Office in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel was honored for coverage of the Parkland shooting and the gun safety movement that followed. Photo by Alex Radelich.

The staff at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD was staff was honored a special award and citation from the Pulitzer board. This year is the first time the board has given that honor since 2010. The paper was the target of a gunman in on June 28, 2018, who stormed the office and killed five journalists.

The citation honors "the journalists, staff and editorial board of the Capital Gazette for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in U.S. history in their newsroom on June 28, 2018, and for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief."

The staff at The Capital Gazette was forced to cover the deaths of their own colleagues after a shooting in the newsroom.

The paper's staff were forced to cover the deaths of their own colleagues and famously published a newspaper the very next morning.

Editor Rick Hutzell told Poynter that the Capital Gazette newsroom hesitated to call it a celebration, but we felt it was a good moment to honor the work we've done.

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