F**k the Pulitzer: A Russian investigative journalist says his team deserves recognition for breaking one of the stories that won ‘The New York Times’ its latest reporting award
On May 4, 2020, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the latest winners of the most coveted award in journalism. The staff of The New York Times won prizes in three different categories: international reporting, investigative reporting, and commentary. The first honor was awarded for “a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin’s regime.” The winning work includes six articles and two videos. Not one of the stories is actually set inside Russia: the reports are about wars in Libya and Syria, elections in Madagascar and the Central African Republic, and murders in Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The Russian authorities naturally condemned the prize selection, but criticism of The New York Times's award-winning journalism also came from several Russian investigative reporters, including Roman Badanin, who says his news outlet, Proekt, broke the story at the heart of at least one of the winning works that earned this years' international reporting Pulitzer: an article by Michael Schwirtz, released in November 2019, titled “How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit: Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader,” which appeared eight months after Proekt’s “Master and Chef: How Evgeny Prigozhin Led the Russian Offensive in Africa” and repeats many of the same findings, chronicling similar events and describing many of the same circumstances and characters.
To understand the dispute better, “The Naked Pravda” spoke to Roman Badanin and Meduza corresponded with a representative from The New York Times.
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