The Washington Post and Guardian U.S. on Monday won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, among the most prestigious awards in journalism, for their articles based on National Security Agency documents leaked by the former government contractor Edward J. Snowden.
Through a series of reports that exposed the N.S.A.’s widespread domestic surveillance program, The Post and Guardian U.S. set off an international debate on the limits of government surveillance. The papers also came under heavy criticism by the American and British governments, with lawmakers accusing them of compromising national security.
The Pulitzer board said that it gave the award for the “authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”
Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian in London, said he hoped that the public service prize might lead American authorities to reassess their position on Mr. Snowden, who has been charged by the United States and has sought asylum in Russia.
“It’s about time there was a more grown-up discussion about what he’s done,” Mr. Rusbridger said. “Treating this as though it was simply a criminal matter is not an adequate response.”
David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, who was not a Pulitzer judge, said that the story was “the epitome of important reporting and the epitome of what public service in journalism is all about.”
SOURCE: RAVI SOMAIYA
The New York Times