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Pittsburgh Post Gazette former executive editor David Shribman, centre, celebrates in the paper's downtown Pittsburgh newsroom after it was announced that the paper's staff coverage of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue last October was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting, on Monday, April 15, 2019.

Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for coverage of a mass shooting at a synagogue.

The Post-Gazette received the prize in the breaking news category for its reporting on the October synagogue shooting rampage that left 11 people dead. The man awaiting trial in the attack railed against Jews before, during and after the massacre, authorities said.

After the Pulitzer announcement, the newsroom observed a moment of silence for the victims.

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“We are not so much celebrating as affirming ... the job we were put on this earth to do,” David Shribman, a former executive editor of the Post-Gazette who led the coverage, told the newsroom. Shribman is a regular Globe and Mail contributor.

The Pulitzers, U.S. journalism’s highest honour, reflected a year when journalism increasingly came under attack in other ways.

Reuters won an international reporting award for work that cost two of its staffers their liberty: shedding light on a brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims by security forces in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. Their supporters say the two were framed in retaliation for their reporting.

The Capital Gazette was given a special citation for its coverage and courage in the face of a massacre in its own newsroom. The newspaper published on schedule the day after the shooting claimed five staffers’ lives, in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history. The man charged in the shooting had a longstanding grudge against the paper. The Pulitzer board awarded Capital Gazette an extraordinary $100,000 grant to further its journalism.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal also won an award for delving into President Donald Trump’s finances and breaking open the hush-money scandals involving two women who said they had affairs with him.

The prizes were established by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The first journalism prizes were awarded in 1917. Winners of the public service award receive a gold medal. The other awards carry a prize of $15,000 each.

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