Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for U.S. spying coverage

Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:47pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Guardian US and Washington Post were awarded the most prestigious Pulitzer prize on Monday for coverage of secret surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency that sparked wide debate over government spying.

Reuters won in international reporting for its coverage of the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar who in efforts to flee often fall into the hands of brutal human-trafficking networks.

The celebrated prizes, awarded by Columbia University, are the most respected in U.S. journalism and can bring badly needed attention and recognition to newspapers and websites suffering from economic pressures and budget constraints.

The prize-winning work by the Guardian US and The Washington Post in the Pulitzer's public service category was based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed details of global electronic surveillance by the U.S. spy agency.

Reporting on the leaks not only sparked international debate over the limits of government surveillance but prompted President Barack Obama to introduce curbs on NSA spying powers.

"We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting," Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger said in a statement.

"And we share this honor, not only with our colleagues at The Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize," he said.

Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum last year after the U.S. Justice Department charged him with violating the Espionage Act.   Continued...

Reuters journalist Jason Szep (L) celebrates with colleague Alistair Bell (R) in the Reuters Washington bureau after it was announced that Szep and a team from Reuters won a Pulitzer prize for international reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar, April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Bourg