2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Photography

The winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography and Feature Photography were announced last night, and both are prime examples of powerful photojournalism and visual storytelling. Neither photo essay is for the faint of heart.

Breaking News Photography

The theme for this year’s prize was, in a word: violence. The prize for Breaking News Photography was awarded to freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak, who captured a photo essay for The New York Times, “showing the callous disregard for human life in the Philippines brought about by a government assault on drug dealers and users.”

Some of the images are tragic, others gruesome; taken together, they represent an unflinching account of Government-sanctioned violence.

Feature Photography

Continuing the unofficial theme, the 2017 Pulitzer for Feature Photography was awarded to Chicago Tribune photographer E. Jason Wambsgans, who put together “a superb portrayal of a 10-year-old boy and his mother striving to put the boy’s life back together after he survived a shooting in Chicago.”

A more intimate portrayal than Berehulak’s straight reportage for the Times, Wambsgans’ photo essay captures a more hopeful portrait of life after violence.

The Pulitzer Prize /ˈpʊltsər/ is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (raised from $10,000 in 2017). The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.

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