Jailed Reuters journalists honoured with Pulitzer Prize

Myanmar reporters win journalism award for revealing massacre of Rohingya men by country’s security forces.

Kyaw Soe Oo, left, and Wa Lone are serving a seven-year sentence for violating Myanmar's colonial Official Secrets Act [Thein Zaw/AP]

Two jailed reporters for the Reuters news agency have won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for revealing the massacre of 10 Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces. 

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been jailed for 490 days in Myanmar for their role in uncovering the killings, won the prestigious award for international reporting on Monday.

They were arrested in December 2017 and are serving a seven-year sentence for violating the country’s colonial Official Secrets Act.

“I’m thrilled that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues have been recognised for their extraordinary, courageous coverage,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J Adler said. 

“I remain deeply distressed, however, that our brave reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are still behind bars.”

Thomson Reuters CEO Jim Smith said the news service “won’t be truly celebrating until Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are free”.

Evidence of Myanmar’s massacre of Rohingya men: Reuters

The honourees, both Myanmar citizens, found a mass grave filled with bones sticking out of the ground. They went on to gather testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of victims.

Journalists Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty of the Associated Press agency also won the same award for their coverage of famine and torture during Yemen’s civil war. 

The Reuters staff bagged a second prize for photographs of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States.

In other categories, coverage of mass shootings in the US and investigations into US President Donald Trump featured prominently.

The Washington Post was a finalist for the public service medal for its coverage of the murder of Saudi journalist and Post columnist Jamal Khassoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. 

Here’s a list of this year’s winners:


Public Service

South Florida Sun Sentinel for examining mistakes by school and law enforcement officials before and after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Breaking News Reporting

Staff, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for coverage of the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue and its aftermath.

Investigative Reporting

Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, for reporting on a gynaecologist at the University of Southern California accused of abusing young women over decades.

Explanatory Reporting

David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner, The New York Times, for their examination of family tax schemes that helped President Donald Trump inherit a fortune from his father.

Local Reporting

Staff, The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for an examination of the state’s jury system and a law that allowed convictions without a unanimous verdict.

National Reporting

Staff, The Wall Street Journal, for stories disclosing payoffs during the campaign to two women who claimed to have had affairs with President Donald Trump, and how those transactions were handled.

International Reporting

Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty, The Associated Press, for stories on famine and torture during Yemen’s civil war.

The staff of Reuters, with contributions from Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, for stories on the expulsion and killing of Rohingya in Myanmar by the military and Buddhist villagers.

Feature Writing

Hannah Dreier, ProPublica, for stories about Salvadoran immigrants in New York affected by a federal crackdown on MS-13.


Tony Messenger, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for columns showing how poor Missourians faced high fines or jail time over misdemeanour crimes.


Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post, for reviews and essays on books focusing on government and the United States.

Editorial Writing

Brent Staples, The New York Times, for editorials focusing on racial issues.

Editorial Cartooning

Darrin Bell, freelancer, for cartoons taking aim at the Trump administration over political turmoil and the effect on marginalised communities.

Breaking News Photography

Staff, Reuters, for images following the difficult journey of migrants attempting to get to the United States from South and Central America.

Feature Photography

Lorenzo Tugnoli, The Washington Post, for photographs documenting the famine in Yemen.

Special Citation

Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland, in honour of the journalists, staff and editorial board for their response to the killings of their colleagues in a newsroom shooting.



“The Overstory” by Richard Powers.


“Fairview” by Jackie Sibblies Drury.


“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W Blight.

Biography or Autobiography

“The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke” by Jeffrey C Stewart.


“Be With” by Forrest Gander.

General Nonfiction

“Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America” by Eliza Griswold.


“p r i s m” by Ellen Reid.

Special Citation

Aretha Franklin, for her role in American music for more than 50 years.

Source: News Agencies