Kendrick Lamar, Ronan Farrow, WaPo & the NYT win 2018 Pulitzer Prizes


MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) 2017 - Press Room

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, and I’m pleasantly surprised that many of the award-winners were actually pop-culture and gossip-culture staples. Kendrick Lamar became the first rap artist to win a Pulitzer in the history of the prizes. In fact, he’s the first non-jazz or non-classical artist to win a Pulitzer. Kendrick won for DAMN, the extraordinary album he released last year to widespread critical acclaim. He was up against a string quartet and very strange contemporary musical artist Ted Hearne. The Pulitzers aren’t a popularity contest, especially not when it comes to awarding music. But I’m guessing that Kendrick’s unique genius won over the musical committee.

Since (at least) the release of good kid, m.A.A.d. city in 2012, the singularity of Kendrick Lamar has been plainly evident. But with the Pulitzer Prize in Music for 2018 being given to the Compton rapper for his 2017 album DAMN., his exceptionalism is now officially historic: It’s the first time in the prize’s history that it has been given to an artist outside of the classical or jazz community.

“A virtuosic song collection,” the Pulitzer board writes of DAMN., “unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” In addition to topping many year-end best lists (including ours), DAMN. was awarded five Grammys, though it lost out on album of the year to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic.

[From NPR]

In addition to Kendrick, Ronan Farrow and the other journalists who exposed Harvey Weinstein were awarded joint Pulitzers for their coverage.

The fall of 2017 will likely be defined in history books by the #MeToo movement, which gained momentum after three investigative reporters exposed decades-worth of sexual harassment and assault allegations against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. On Monday, those three journalists — Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times, and Ronan Farrow, who covered the abuse for The New Yorker — were awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Reporting.

Both sets of investigative reports were published within days of each other in October 2017. Kantor and Twohey’s Times reporting came first, followed shortly after by Farrow’s New Yorker investigation. The Times report uncovered that Weinstein paid settlements to at least eight women, including actress Rose McGowan, who accused him of sexual abuse. Ashley Judd and numerous other women also went on record with the Times about the harassment they endured from Weinstein, many instances of which occurred in luxury hotels.

Farrow’s New Yorker reporting included similar stories of abuse and harassment that many women endured by Weinstein, including several accusations of assault. For his story, Farrow spoke on the record with actresses Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento, and also shared chilling audio in which Weinstein admits to groping actress Ambra Battilana. Farrow’s investigation was published in the New Yorker after his own employer, NBC News, reportedly declined to publish it.

[From The Cut]

I remember late last year, people were trying to make it into a pissing contest between Ronan Farrow and Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey when it was clear that all three journalists had been working for months to put together their separate stories, and they had all been facing considerable pressure from Harvey Weinstein’s legal team. The fact that they dropped their separate stories so closely actually worked in their favor: Weinstein could have easily sued one publication and called one journalist a liar, but Ronan, Jodi and Megan acted as backup for one another, almost like a united front against a rampant sexual predator.

A few more winners/notables:

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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21 Responses to “Kendrick Lamar, Ronan Farrow, WaPo & the NYT win 2018 Pulitzer Prizes”

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  1. Lenn says:

    There can never me enough praise for thorough, well-written, deeply researched reporting of the facts. Especially these days. I am so grateful for the journalists that provide us with these stories.

  2. lightpurple says:

    SEAN HANNITY WAS ROBBED! Pulitzers are a liberal conspiracy!

  3. indefatigable says:

    Speaking of Weinstein is he facing criminal charges? I haven’t heard any updates for quite awhile.

  4. Nicole says:

    There’s not enough words for how huge the win was for Kendrick Lamar. I mean the Recording Academy look like idiots for giving the mediocre 24K album of the year over DAMN. Another first. It’s been a good weekend for black excellence.
    Not surprised that Ronan got a Pulitzer split…excellent journalism.

  5. Mia4s says:

    I do have to point out that seeing both “Pulitzer” and “Hannity” trending together yesterday momentarily stopped my heart out of sheer terror. 😁

    Worthy winners all; but the work done by Jodi, Megan, and Ronan, to take down Weinstein? Absolutely next level.

  6. Skylark says:

    It really lifts my heart to see such significant recognition of all these forces for good in such grim times. Well deserved and well done to all and a particular well done to Lamar for his ‘first in the history’.

  7. Snazzy says:

    So wonderful, this makes me happy

  8. Rumi says:

    Kendrick’s Album Damn is extraordinary ( love his other two albums, butterfly, M.A.A.D) He is a true artist and deserves this recognition.
    These journalists are a credit to their profession.
    Bravo to all the winners.

  9. OriginalLala says:

    I don’t know Kendrick Lamar’s music (I’m not very cool, I listen to alot of east coast fiddle music) but I will definitely have to check his historic album out!

  10. minx says:

    I’m just thrilled for each one of these winners, so well deserved. Sometimes the news is really good.

  11. SKF says:

    Fantastic choices by the Pulitzer juries. It cannot be understated how historic and important these wins are.

  12. pan says:

    so amazing, so well deserved, all of them. thank you for writing about this!

  13. Turtle says:

    Kendrick Lamar winning a damn Pulitzer is astonishing. That award ALWAYS goes to jazz or classical artists. Always. Very occasionally a non-white artist might slip in there. Pretty great.

  14. Kelly says:

    I’m happy for Ronan Farrow’s success. I was turned off by the Frank Sinatra trolling he was doing for a while, and happy that he’s aimed his talents at a far more worthy subject.