‘This American Life’ Wins First Pulitzer Prize For Audio, Along With Los Angeles Times And Vice News

Public radio’s This American Life won the first Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting, for an episode they did in partnership with the category’s two other winners, the Los Angeles Times and Vice News.

The episode, The Out Crowd, was recognized for “revelatory, intimate journalism that illuminates the personal impact of the Trump Administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.” The Pulitzers recognized Molly O’Toole, immigration and security reporter in the Times’ Washington bureau, and Emily Green, a journalist based in Mexico City.

In the drama category, the Pulitzer committee recognized A Strange Loop by Michael R. Jackson. The musical “tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities,” the judges wrote.

In the music category, Anthony Davis won for The Central Park Five, which premiered last year at the Long Beach Opera. The judges called it a “courageous operatic work, marked by powerful vocal writing and sensitive orchestration, that skillfully transforms a notorious example of contemporary injustice into something empathetic and hopeful.”

Colson Whitehead, who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Underground Railroad in 2017, won the top fiction honor again for The Nickel Boys. The committee called it “a spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.”

Here is a complete list of the 2020 winners:


Public Service

The Anchorage Daily News, in collaboration with ProPublica

Breaking News Reporting

Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

Investigative Reporting

Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times

Explanatory Reporting

Staff of The Washington Post

Local Reporting

Staff of The Baltimore Sun

National Reporting

T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica


Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times

International Reporting

Staff of The New York Times

Feature Writing

Ben Taub of The New Yorker


Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times


Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times

Editorial Writing

Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Tx.) Herald-Press

Editorial Cartooning

Barry Blitt, contributor, The New Yorker

Breaking News Photography

Photography Staff of Reuters

Feature Photography

Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of the Associated Press

Audio Reporting

Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer for Vice News for “The Out Crowd”



The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)


A Strange Loop by Michael R. Jackson


Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)


Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Ecco/HarperCollins)


The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

General Nonfiction

The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)


The Central Park Five by Anthony Davis, premiered by Long Beach Opera on June 15, 2019


Ida B. Wells

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