2019 Pulitzer Prize winners announced; WHO raises alarm over rise in measles cases - Current Affairs

This year, a special citation was given to honor the team at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in US history.

Created On: Apr 16, 2019 16:35 ISTModified On: Apr 17, 2019 12:25 IST
2019 Pulitzer Prize winners announced

Story 1- 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners announced

The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2019 were announced on April 15, 2019 at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.

This year, a special citation was given to honor the team at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in US history. They received an award of $100K to further their journalism.

South Florida Sun Sentinel received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in the Public Service category for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the fiction category, The Overstory, by Richard Powers (WW Norton) won the Pulitzer for an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.

Following is the full list of 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners:





Public Service

South Florida Sun Sentinel

For exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Breaking News Reporting

Staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For immersive, compassionate coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.

Investigative Reporting

Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times

For consequential reporting on a University of Southern California gynecologist accused of violating hundreds of young women for more than a quarter-century.

Explanatory Reporting

David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times

For an exhaustive 18-month investigation of President Donald Trump’s finances that debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.

Local Reporting

Staff of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

For a damning portrayal of the state’s discriminatory conviction system, including a Jim Crow-era law, that enabled Louisiana courts to send defendants to jail without jury consensus on the accused’s guilt.

National Reporting

Staff of The Wall Street Journal

For uncovering President Trump’s secret payoffs to two women during his campaign who claimed to have had affairs with him, and the web of supporters who facilitated the transactions, triggering criminal inquiries and calls for impeachment.

International Reporting

Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty of Associated Press


Staff of Reuters, with notable contributions from Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

For a revelatory yearlong series detailing the atrocities of the war in Yemen, including theft of food aid, deployment of child soldiers and torture of prisoners.


For expertly exposing the military units and Buddhist villagers responsible for the systematic expulsion and murder of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, courageous coverage that landed its reporters in prison.

Feature Writing

Hannah Dreier of ProPublica

For a series of powerful, intimate narratives that followed Salvadoran immigrants on New York’s Long Island whose lives were shattered by a botched federal crackdown on the international criminal gang MS-13.


Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

For bold columns that exposed the malfeasance and injustice of forcing poor rural Missourians charged with misdemeanor crimes to pay unaffordable fines or be sent to jail.


Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post

For trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.

Editorial Writing

Brent Staples of The New York Times

For editorials written with extraordinary moral clarity that charted the racial fault lines in the United States at a polarizing moment in the nation’s history.

Editorial Cartooning

Darrin Bell, freelancer

For beautiful and daring editorial cartoons that took on issues affecting disenfranchised communities, calling out lies, hypocrisy and fraud in the political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration.

Breaking News Photography

Photography Staff of Reuters

For a vivid and startling visual narrative of the urgency, desperation and sadness of migrants as they journeyed to the U.S. from Central and South America.

Feature Photography

Lorenzo Tugnoli of The Washington Post

For brilliant photo storytelling of the tragic famine in Yemen, shown through images in which beauty and composure are intertwined with devastation. (Moved by the jury from Breaking News Photography, where it was originally entered.)

Letters, Drama & Music





The Overstory, by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton)

An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.


Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury

A hard-hitting drama that examines race in a highly conceptual, layered structure, ultimately bringing audiences into the actors’ community to face deep-seated prejudices.


Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster)

A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.


The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press)

A panoramic view of the personal trials and artistic triumphs of the father of the Harlem Renaissance and the movement he inspired.


Be With, by Forrest Gander (New Directions)

A collection of elegies that grapple with sudden loss, and the difficulties of expressing grief and yearning for the departed.

General Nonfiction

Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, by Eliza Griswold (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A classic American story, grippingly told, of an Appalachian family struggling to retain its middle class status in the shadow of destruction wreaked by corporate fracking.


p r i s m, by Ellen Reid

A bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse. Libretto by Roxie Perkins.

Special Citations




Special Awards and Citations

Aretha Franklin


Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Md.

For her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.

A special citation to honor the journalists, staff and editorial board of the Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland, for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in U.S. history in their newsroom on June 28, 2018, and for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief. The citation comes with a $100,000 bequest by the Pulitzer Board to be used to further the newspaper’s journalistic mission.

Story 2- WHO raises alarm over 300 per cent increase in case of measles globally

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised an alarm over a 300 percent increase in the number of cases of measles globally in the first quarter of 2019.

The statement by the health agency comes as health experts in various parts of the world blame a growing anti-vaccination movement for the rise in outbreaks of the highly contagious but preventable disease.

Key Highlights

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO, as against 28,124 cases by 163 countries in 2018.

According to WHO, the early trends for 2019 likely underestimated the severity of the outbreaks since only about one in 10 actual measles cases was reported.

Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases. The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people.

There has also been a rise in case numbers in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States.

However, the most dramatic rise in cases, a 700-percent increase compared to 2018, was reported on the African continent, which has weaker vaccination coverage than other regions.

About Measles

Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral disease that causes fever, coughing and rashes, which can be deadly in rare cases.

Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, the disease remains an important cause of death among young children globally.

Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020.

The World Health Organization is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunisation and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.

How is it transmitted?

The infection is transmitted through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.


The initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.

Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

Who is more prone to the disease?

Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.


The most serious complications of the disease include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

How to reduce number of deaths?

The key strategy to reduce the number of deaths caused by the disease includes routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns in countries with low routine coverage.


While the number of deaths caused by measles have decreased by 84 percent worldwide in recent years from 550,100 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016, the disease is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia.

An estimated 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016.  More than 95 percent of the deaths caused by measles occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

The disease has a vaccine, which is safe, effective and inexpensive and has been in use since the 1960s.

WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated.

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