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Reuters wins Pulitzers for Israel-Gaza photos and Musk investigation

Teams from Reuters have won two Pulitzer Prizes for searing photographs from both sides of the war between Israel and Hamas, and for a hard-hitting investigative series on the businesses of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

The 2024 awards for Breaking News Photography and National Reporting, announced on May 6 at Columbia University in New York, brought the Reuters tally to 12 Pulitzers since 2008, when the news service first won what is widely seen as the most prestigious award in journalism.

In a message to staff, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni hailed the awards as recognition of the courage and tenacity that defines Reuters journalism. She concluded her message by noting “the tremendous sacrifices our frontline journalists make when covering conflict, especially those who do so in their own homelands.” 

In all, nine photographers in Gaza and Israel, supported by seven editors and the Global Pictures Desk, gave the world what the Pulitzer board called “raw and urgent photographs documenting the October 7th deadly attack in Israel by Hamas and the first weeks of Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza”.

Galloni told staff: “The work of the Gaza-Israel team was part of a vast portfolio of distinguished journalism by an even larger group of Reuters photographers, videographers and text reporters who’ve covered the war.” She said the photographers had “maintained a clear-eyed focus under the unrelenting and exhausting pressure of covering the deadliest conflict for journalists in decades.”

Reuters won the National Reporting award for what the Pulitzer board said was “an eye-opening series of accountability stories focused on Elon Musk’s automobile and aerospace businesses, stories that displayed remarkable breadth and depth and provoked official probes of his companies’ practices in Europe and the United States.”

Galloni said nine reporters and six editors had collaborated on the Musk series, which had exposed “harms at Musk companies that regulators had failed to police, sparking investigations in the U.S. and Europe and calls for action for U.S. lawmakers.” They shared the award with staff of The Washington Post, who won for a series about the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a weapon at the center of debate over mass shootings in the United States.

Thomson Reuters CEO Steve Hasker and Reuters News President Paul Bascobert joined Galloni in hailing the recognition.  “Our winning work exemplifies why journalism is so vital to informing the public and holding power to account,” Bascobert told staff.

Among other news services, staff of the Associated Press won in the feature photography category for images chronicling the migrant journey from Colombia to the U.S. border.  Bloomberg was cited as a finalist in two categories and an AFP photographer in one.

The Pulitzer board also issued a special citation recognizing what it called the courageous work of journalists and media workers covering the war in Gaza. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the confict has already claimed the lives of almost 100 journalists and media workers, among them Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah, who was killed by Israeli shelling while filming on the Israel-Lebanon border in October last year.

(Photo caption: In a final embrace, Inas Abu Maamar, 36, cradles the shroud-wrapped body of her five-year-old niece, Saly, who died in Israeli strikes on Khan Younis, at the Nasser Hospital morgue, before her funeral in southern Gaza, Oct. 17, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem. See links for more from the winning Reuters portfolio).