After their in-depth reporting on Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assault over decades triggered an avalanche of other accusations against dozens of power players, the New York Times and New Yorker have been jointly awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service.
Jodi Kantor and Meagan Twohey’s New York Times reporting on the Weinstein allegations — not to mention the webs of secrecy and institutional protection that kept them from coming to light for years — beat Ronan Farrow’s initial New Yorker exposé to publication by five days. But together, they painted a damning portrait of a man and an industry that prize power above basic respect for the vulnerable.
After these reports were published, dozens of actors came out against Weinstein to solidify the case — including op-eds from Lupita Nyong’o and Salma Hayek — with Kantor, Twohey, and Farrow reporting follow-up stories that backed up their initial reporting.
Many had tried to bring the Weinstein allegations to light before and found that they didn’t have the resources, pull, proof, or opportunity to make it to print. But Kantor, Twohey, and Farrow managed it, and for that, the Pulitzer committee saw fit to recognize their work, in tandem, as exceptional.
But the reason the Pulitzer committee singled out their contributions under the public service category — as opposed to, say, investigative reporting — is that the sexual abuse revelations didn’t end with Weinstein. In fact, they sparked an outpouring of hundreds more revelations about powerful people in the entertainment industry and far beyond. Their reporting started a long-overdue national conversation about how sexual harassment and assault pervades every industry — and at least for now, it’s impossible to ignore.
Updated to reflect that the Pulitzer went to the New York Times and New Yorker for their collective coverage of the Weinstein allegations.
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