The staff of The Boston Globe was awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize today for its coverage of the bombings a year ago that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others near the Boston Marathon finish line, an attack that shook the nation as it raised the specter once again of terrorism on American soil.
The Globe won the award for breaking news coverage “for its exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that enveloped the city, using photography and a range of digital tools to capture the full impact of the tragedy,” the Pulitzer board said on its website.
The award for the Globe and its websites, Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com, comes at a poignant time. With the one-year anniversary of the bombings on Tuesday, and the 118th running of the race scheduled for next Monday, the region is in the midst of remembrances of the tragedy and, at the same time, vowing to move resolutely forward from it.
“There’s nobody in this room that wanted to cover this story. And each and every one of us hopes that nothing like it ever happens again on our watch,” editor Brian McGrory told the staff in the newsroom this afternoon before asking for a moment of silence for the victims.
Globe photographers John Tlumacki and David L. Ryan were finalists in the breaking news photography category for their coverage of the bombings. Columnist Kevin Cullen was a finalist for commentary for columns that captured the “spirit of a city,” especially after the bombings, the board said.
“Our job was to bear witness to the tragedy,” Jennifer Peter, senior deputy managing editor for local news, told the staff.
Editorial writer Dante Ramos was also a finalist for editorials urging Boston to become a “more modern, around-the-clock city,” the board said.
It was the Globe’s seventh Pulitzer Prize in 12 years and the newspaper’s 23d overall. It was the paper’s first Pulitzer for breaking news coverage.
The Pulitzers, administered by Columbia University, are the most prestigious awards in journalism.
Other awardees announced today included the Washington Post and The Guardian, who received the award in the public service category service for stories about US government surveillance that were based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden; Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity for investigative reporting; David Philipps of the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo., for national reporting; Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters for international reporting; and Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times for local reporting.
Tyler Hicks of The New York Times won for breaking news photography and Josh Haner of The New York Times won for feature photography.
An Emerson College professor, Megan Marshall, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography for “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life,” which tells the story of Fuller, a 19th-century author, critic, and feminist, in the Transcendentalist movement.
The Marathon bombings happened just before 3 p.m. on April 15, 2013. Two homemade pressure cooker bombs exploded in a crowd gathered to cheer on finishers at an event that is a rite of spring in Massachusetts and a magnet for thousands of racers, from amateur to elite, from around the world.
Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington; Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester; and Lingzi Lu, 23, a Chinese graduate student at Boston University, were killed in the blast. Other blast victims suffered grievous injuries, including lost limbs, but they were saved by bystanders and first responders who rushed forward, without a thought for their own safety.
While the region reeled from the attacks, a massive manhunt ensued for the people responsible.
That manhunt culminated several days later in a wild, violent finale. After authorities released their pictures, the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then 19, allegedly murdered MIT Police Officer Sean Collier on the night of April 18, then engaged in a shootout with police in the nearby town of Watertown in the early hours of April 19. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after being shot by police and run over by his own brother.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev initially eluded the legions of police who swarmed to the area as Gov. Deval Patrick, in an unprecedented step, urged residents of Boston, Watertown and other nearby areas to stay indoors and “shelter in place.” But Tsarnaev was ultimately captured later in the day, hiding in a boat stored in a Watertown back yard, bringing a measure of relief to a region stunned by the attacks. He is now in federal custody, awaiting trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
People in the Boston area and beyond rallied together after the attacks, expressing grief and sympathy, and supporting the bombing victims. “Boston Strong” became a much-used phrase, bespeaking the region’s resilience in the face of the bombings. Tens of millions of dollars were raised to aid the bombing victims. In a visit to Boston several days after the bombings, President Obama said America supported the people of the city, telling residents, “Every one of us stands with you.”
At the same time, the bombings have also raised questions about how the Tsarnaevs became radicalized — and sparked investigations into whether authorities could have somehow prevented the attacks.