Two Indian-American journalists win NYT’s prestigious Pulitzer Prize

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Megha Rajagopalan. Photo: Pulitzer.org

At least two journalists of Indian origin are among the winners of the Pulitzer Prize announced June 11, 2021.

In the category ‘Local Reporting’ Neil Bedi along with Kathleen McGrory, of Tampa Bay Times were the winners. And for ‘International Reporting’ Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News took away the prize.

Local Reporting  
Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi of the Tampa Bay Times

International Reporting
Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News

Bedi and McGrory won “For resourceful, creative reporting that exposed how a powerful and politically connected sheriff built a secretive intelligence operation that harassed residents and used grades and child welfare records to profile schoolchildren,” the Pulitzer website (Pulitzer.org) said.

The following were the articles on which the award was based:

September 3, 2020 – Targeted

September 3, 2020- How a Florida Sheriff harasses families: Watch the body-cam video

November 19, 2020- Pasco’s sheriff uses grades and abuse histories to label schoolchildren potential criminals. The kids and their parents don’t know.

December 24, 2020 – The man behind the machine

Neil Bedi. Photo: Pulitzer.org

Bedi is an investigative reporter with Tampa Bay Times since 2016. He has reported with McGrory on the alarming death rate at the cardiac surgery unit of a Florida children’s hospital which won the George Polk Award and was listed among Finalists for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles Samueli School of Engineering.

McGrory is the deputy investigations editor at the Tampa Bay Times.

Rajagopalan of BuzzFeed, and her co-writers Killing and Buschek, won the International Reporting prize “For a series of clear and compelling stories that used satellite imagery and architectural expertise, as well as interviews with two dozen former prisoners, to identify a vast new infrastructure built by the Chinese government for the mass detention of Muslims.”

Their winning works were:

August 27, 2020 –China Secretly Built A Vast New Infrastructure To Imprison Muslims

August 27, 2020 –What They Saw: Ex-Prisoners Detail The Horrors Of China’s Detention Camps

August 27, 2020 –Blanked-Out Spots On China’s Maps Helped Us Uncover Xinjiang’s Camps

December 3, 2020 – Inside A Xinjiang Detention Camp

December 28, 2020 – We Found The Factories Inside China’s Mass Internment Camps

September 26, 2020 – A Uighur Woman Who Was At Risk Of Being Forcibly Sent Back To China And Detained Has Arrived Safely In The US

According to her profile provided by Pulitzer, Rajagopalan is an award-winning international correspondent for BuzzFeed News, based in London, U.K.

She previously worked as a staff correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in China and Thailand as well as in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Prior to that, she was a political correspondent for Reuters in China.

Rajagopalan has reported from 23 countries in Asia and the Middle East on stories ranging from the North Korean nuclear crisis to the peace process in Afghanistan, the Pulitzer website notes. Her work has been translated into 7 languages, been taught in classrooms at Columbia and NYU, and was anthologized in 2018’s What Future: The Year’s Best Writing on What’s Next for People, Technology, and the Planet.

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