The Pulitzer website states the P-G was awarded the prize for “immersive, compassionate coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.”
The P-G is not the only paper to win a prize for reporting on a mass shooting. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the Pulitzer for Public Service for 20 articles written in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A special citation was also awarded to the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. for reporting on a shooting in their own newsroom as it was happening.
As the P-G is awarded its Pulitzer, the staff, which is part of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, has been without a contract since March 2017. Through months of negotiations, the Guild has repeatedly asked for a pay increase—the staff have not had raises in 13 years—and properly funded health insurance. The article on the P-G website announcing the win includes a quote from controversial executive editor Keith Burris, who stated to the newsroom “The value of members of this news staff doing their jobs, doing their sacred duty, has been affirmed.”
A reminder: the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that just won a Pulitzer for their coverage of the Tree of Life murders has been without a contract for two years, even as their owners violate the existing contract. Time to reward greatness with fairness.— Dennis Roddy (@dennis_roddy) April 15, 2019
The article notably does not include a statement from P-G publisher John Block, who has held up the negotiations (among other discrepancies). “[P]ublisher John Robinson Block is nowhere to be seen. Even with a Pulitzer, there has been no acknowledgement of what we've worked through and accomplished,” tweeted P-G staffer Matt Moret after the win.
The Guild tweeted “This is a testament to the hard work the entire PG staff does on a daily basis.”
Oh and by the way, @PittsburghPG publisher John Robinson Block is nowhere to be seen. Even with a Pulitzer, there has been no acknowledgement of what we've worked through and accomplished. Instead, illegal health care increases and verbal tirades.— Matt Moret (@mttmoret) April 15, 2019