Columbia University President Announces The Winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize

(All Images Provided by The Communications Office of the Pulitzer Prizes)

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners in 14 journalism and seven letters, drama and music categories were announced on Monday, April 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The formal announcement of the prizes, made each April, states that the awards are made by the president of Columbia University on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize board. This formulation is derived from the Joseph Pulitzer will, which established Columbia as the seat of the administration of the prizes. Today, in fact, the independent board makes all the decisions relative to the prizes. In his will, Pulitzer bestowed an endowment on Columbia of $2,000,000 for the establishment of a School of Journalism, one-fourth of which was to be “applied to prizes or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education.

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The Pulitzer Prize logo

In doing so, he stated: “I am deeply interested in the progress and elevation of journalism, having spent my life in that profession, regarding it as a noble profession and one of unequaled importance for its influence upon the minds and morals of the people. I desire to assist in attracting to this profession young men of character and ability, also to help those already engaged in the profession to acquire the highest moral and intellectual training.” In his ascent to the summit of American journalism, Pulitzer himself received little or no assistance. He prided himself on being a self-made man, but it may have been his struggles as a young journalist that imbued him with the desire to foster professional training.”

The iconic Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal is awarded each year to the American news organization that wins the Public Service category. It is never awarded to an individual. However, through the years, the Medal has come to symbolize the entire Pulitzer program.

In 1918, a year after the Prizes began, the medal was designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French and his associate Henry Augustus Lukeman. French later gained fame for his seated Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. One side of the medal displays the profile of Benjamin Franklin, apparently based on the bust by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. Decorating the other side is a husky, bare-chested printer at work, his shirt draped across the end of a press. Surrounding the printer are the words: “For disinterested and meritorious public service rendered by an American newspaper during the year….

The name of the winning news organization is inscribed on the Franklin side of the medal. The year of the award is memorialized on the other side.

The 2018 Prize winners are:

Journalism

Public Service

The New York Times, for reporting led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and The New Yorker, for reporting by Ronan Farrow

For explosive, impactful journalism that exposed powerful and wealthy sexual predators, including allegations against one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, bringing them to account for long-suppressed allegations of coercion, brutality and victim silencing, thus spurring a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women.

Breaking News Reporting

Staff of The Press-Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

For lucid and tenacious coverage of historic wildfires that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, expertly utilizing an array of tools, including photography, video and social media platforms, to bring clarity to its readers — in real time and in subsequent in-depth reporting.

Investigative Reporting

Staff of The Washington Post

For purposeful and relentless reporting that changed the course of a Senate race in Alabama by revealing a candidate’s alleged past sexual harassment of teenage girls and subsequent efforts to undermine the journalism that exposed it.

Explanatory Reporting

Staffs of The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network

For vivid and timely reporting that masterfully combined text, video, podcasts and virtual reality to examine, from multiple perspectives, the difficulties and unintended consequences of fulfilling President Trump’s pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Local Reporting

The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff

For a riveting and insightful narrative and video documenting seven days of greater Cincinnati’s heroin epidemic, revealing how the deadly addiction has ravaged families and communities.

National Reporting

Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post

For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)

International Reporting

Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato of Reuters

For relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Feature Writing

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, freelance reporter, GQ

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (Feature Writing)

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (Feature Writing)

For an unforgettable portrait of murderer Dylann Roof, using a unique and powerful mix of reportage, first-person reflection and analysis of the historical and cultural forces behind his killing of nine people inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Continue reading

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“The Newest Americans” Exploring Citizenship & Immigration In The Trump Era Opened April 3 At The California Museum

New Exhibit Capturing Experiences Of Immigrants Prompts Discussion On The American Dream Through July 8th Before Embarking On A 5-Year National Tour

Following the 2016 election, America’s political climate was polarized by the Trump Administration’s efforts to build a border wall, enact a Muslim ban and enforce mass deportations. Against this backdrop, photographer Sam Comen with interviews by Michael Estrin set out to capture the experiences of new Americans in the moments following their naturalization after two Los Angeles, CA ceremonies held in February and March of 2017. Their resulting portraits and interviews led to the development of “The Newest Americans” as a traveling exhibit created in partnership with the California Museum.logo

The California Museum’s  The Newest Americans,” exploring U.S. citizenship and immigration in the era of President Donald J. Trump, is now open. The new exhibit prompts discussion on America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants and the future of the American dream through July 8, 2018, before embarking on a 5-year national tour managed by Exhibit Envoy.

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Maria Teresa Cervantes (right), country of origin Mexico, pictured with daughter Lorraine (left) and grandson Jonathan Anda (center). CREDIT: By Sam Comen, courtesy of photographer.

I commend the California Museum for presenting an exhibit examining the immigrant experience at this critical time in California and U.S. history,” said Secretary of State and Museum Board of Trustee Alex Padilla. “The display prompts much-needed discussion on civic engagement, citizenship, and civil rights, as the Trump administration enacts restrictive immigration policies that not only impacts families, but all California communities.”

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Breznil Ashton, country of origin St. Vincent & the Grenadines. CREDIT: By Sam Comen, courtesy of photographer.

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Maria Villagordoa, country of origin Mexico. CREDIT: By Sam Comen, courtesy of photographer

Illustrating a range of ages and walks of life, the 28 exhibit participants represent 23 countries of origin, including Mexico, Rwanda, China, Russia, and Syria. The exhibit includes photographs accompanied by text panels presented in English and Spanish sharing the subjects’ views on why they chose to become American citizens and what the American dream means to them.

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Caixia Yang Phillipe, country of origin China. CREDIT: By Sam Comen, courtesy of photographer

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Michael Jordan, country of origin Canada. CREDIT: By Sam Comen, courtesy of photographer.

Highlights include: Continue reading

Gallup Reports Trump’s Job Approval Stabilizing at Lower Level

Gallup’s Trump Daily Approval Rate is 34% as of Today, August 31, 2017

President Donald Trump‘s job approval rating has stabilized, registering 34% or 35% in each Gallup Daily tracking three-day rolling average since Aug. 20, including 35% in the latest update based on Aug. 27-29 interviewing. The 34% approval ratings recorded last week tie the Aug. 11-13 measurement as the lowest Trump has had as president. And it still could go lower yet. 

After starting out in the mid-40s, Trump’s job approval rating has been below the 40% mark in each month since February. He is on pace to spend the entire month of August below 40%, with his job approval rating last at 40% on July 11.Trump's Job Approval Stabilizing at Lower Level 1

The stable, lower job approval ratings in recent days produced a 35% weekly average for Trump during the week of Aug. 21-27. This is the lowest weekly average of his presidency.

Because of the recent pattern, Trump’s full-term approval average since he took office in January has now fallen below 40% for the first time, to 39%. The historically low job approval ratings for Trump are well-documented, but the weakness of his 39% term average to date is stark:

No other president has had a full-term average of less than 45% approval (Harry Truman) while in office.

  • No other president has averaged less than 49% approval during his first year in office.
  • Only three presidents — Bill Clinton (49%), Ronald Reagan (57%) and Barack Obama (57%) — have averaged less than 60% job approval in their first year.

Trump still has nearly five months left in his first year in office, and three full years beyond that until his first term is over. His unusually low ratings so far mean his support will need to improve substantially to avoid leaving office with the worst approval ratings a president has had by a significant margin.amzg0lnthko46odiazojvw (Graph #2)

Democratic Approval of Trump Stuck in Single Digits

The chances of Trump’s ratings improving substantially, however, are hampered by his low support among Democrats, a major reason why his overall approval is so low. In Aug. 21-27 Gallup polling, an average of 7% of Democrats said they approve of the job Trump is doing.

Single-digit approval ratings of the president are not uncommon in the recent era of highly polarized job approval ratings. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush registered many single-digit approval ratings from Republicans and Democrats, respectively, while in office. But neither did so for the first time until much later in his presidency — Obama in October 2010, nearly two years into his presidency, and Bush in October 2004, during his fourth year in office.

In contrast, Trump fell below 10% job approval among Democrats his second full week in office. Although Trump has seen some approval ratings among Democrats of 10% or higher since then, he has not done so since the week of April 24-30.

Obama had the lowest full-term average approval rating among supporters of the opposition party, at 13%. Trump has averaged 8% job approval among Democrats to date. Continue reading

Trump Job Approval Rating Now at 34%, New Low

by Frank Newport/Gallup/Monday, August 14, 2017

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking is at 34% for the three-day period from Friday through Sunday — by one point the lowest of his administration so far.download

It is difficult to pinpoint the precise cause of the new low rating, but the changes were apparent on Friday, with his day-by-day ratings near 34% across Saturday and Sunday as well. Trump has consistently been in the news over the past week, including the continued focus on North Korea, even while taking a working vacation at one of his golf properties in New Jersey. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the deaths of a 32-year-old woman and two Virginia State Police officers dominated news coverage on Saturday and Sunday. Trump’s prior three-day low reading was 35%, registered March 26-28.

From a broader perspective, Trump’s rating of 36% for the week ending Aug. 13 was also by one point his lowest on a weekly basis. The president has talked in recent days about doing well with his “base,” but Republicans’ latest weekly approval rating of 79% was the lowest from his own partisans so far, dropping from the previous week’s 82%. Democrats gave Trump a 7% job approval rating last week, while the reading for independents was at 29%. This is the first time independents’ weekly approval rating for Trump has dropped below 30%.

For the three-day period ending Sunday, Republicans’ approval of Trump was at 77%.

Trump’s highest three-day reading to date has been 46%, recorded most recently on Jan. 23-25, shortly after his Jan. 20 inauguration. He has averaged 40% so far since taking office.

Although he has the lowest rating in Gallup’s history for any newly elected president in the summer of his first term in office, Trump’s current 34% remains higher than the low points reached by a number of presidents during their administrations. Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Harry Truman all had job approval ratings lower than 34%, including the all-time low of 22% recorded by Truman in 1952.

Trump’s current approval rating is lower than any reading for his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, who reached a three-day low of 38% several times in 2011 and 2014.

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief. He is the author of Polling Matters: Why Leaders Must Listen to the Wisdom of the People and God Is Alive and Well. Twitter: @Frank_Newport

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