The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting is a Pulitzer Prize awarded for a distinguished example of breaking news, local reporting on news of the moment. It has been awarded since 1953 under several names:
From 1953 to 1963: Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, Edition Time
From 1964 to 1984: Pulitzer Prize for Local General or Spot News Reporting
From 1985 to 1990: Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting
From 1991 to 1997: Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting
From 1998 to present: Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting
Prior to 1953, a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting combined both breaking and investigative reporting under one category. The Pulitzer Committee issues an official citation explaining the reasons for the award.
1953: Editorial Staff of Providence (RI) Journal and Evening Bulletin, "for their spontaneous and cooperative coverage of a bank robbery and police chase leading to the capture of the bandit."
1954: Staff of Vicksburg (MS) Sunday Post-Herald, "for its outstanding coverage of the tornado of December 5, 1953, under extraordinary difficulties."
1955:Caro Brown, Alice (TX) Daily Echo, "for a series of news stories dealing with the successful attack on one-man political rule in neighboring Duval County, written under unusual pressure both of edition time and difficult, even dangerous, circumstances. Mrs. Brown dug into the facts behind the dramatic daily events, as well, and obtained her stories in spite of the bitterest political opposition, showing professional skill and courage."
1956:Lee Hills, Detroit Free Press, ;'for his aggressive, resourceful and comprehensive front page reporting of the United Automobile Workers' negotiations with Ford and General Motors for a guaranteed annual wage."
1957: Staff of Salt Lake (UT) Tribune, "for its prompt and efficient coverage of the crash of two air liners over the Grand Canyon, in which 128 persons were killed."
1958: Staff of Fargo (ND) Forum, "for its swift, vivid and detailed news and picture coverage of a tornado which struck Fargo on June 20."
1959:Mary Lou Werner, The Evening Star, "for her comprehensive year-long coverage of the integration crisis in Virginia which demonstrated admirable qualities of accuracy, speed and the ability to interpret the news under deadline pressure in the course of a difficult and taxing assignment"
List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for Local General or Spot News Reporting
1964:Norman C. Miller The Wall Street Journal, "for his comprehensive account of a multi-million dollar vegetable oil swindle in New Jersey.
1965: Melvin H. Ruder Hungry Horse News, a weekly in Columbia Falls, MT, "for his daring and resourceful coverage of a disastrous flood that threatened his community, an individual effort in the finest tradition of spot news reporting.
1966: Staff Los Angeles Times, "for its coverage of the Watts riots.
1967: Robert V. Cox Chambersburg (Pennsylvania) Public Opinion, "for his vivid deadline reporting of a mountain manhunt that ended with the killing of a deranged sniper who had terrorized the community.
1968: Staff Detroit Free Press, "for its coverage of the Detroit riots of 1967, recognizing both the brilliance of its detailed spot news staff work and its swift and accurate investigation into the underlying causes of the tragedy.
1969:John Fetterman Louisville Times and Courier-Journal, "for his article, "Pfc. Gibson Comes Home," the story of an American soldier whose body was returned to his native town from Vietnam for burial.
1970: Thomas Fitzpatrick Chicago Sun-Times, "for his article about the violence of youthful radicals in Chicago, "A Wild Night's Ride With SDS."
1971: Staff Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, "for its coverage of the Kent State University tragedy on May 4, 1970.
1972: Richard Cooper and John Machacek Rochester (NY) Times-Union, "for their coverage of the Attica, New York prison riot.
1973: Staff Chicago Tribune, "for uncovering flagrant violations of voting procedures in the primary election of March 21, 1972.
1974: Arthur M. Petacque and Hugh F. Hough Chicago Sun-Times, "for uncovering new evidence that led to the reopening of efforts to solve the 1966 murder of Valerie Percy.
1975: Staff Xenia (OH) Daily Gazette, "for its coverage, under enormous difficulties, of the tornado that wrecked the city on April 3, 1974.
1976: Gene Miller Miami Herald, "for his persistent and courageous reporting over eight and one-half years that led to the exoneration and release of two men who had twice been tried for murder and wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Florida.
1977: Margo Huston The Milwaukee Journal, "for her reports on the elderly and the process of aging.
1978: Richard Whitt Louisville Courier-Journal, "for his coverage of a fire that took 164 lives at the Beverly Hills Supper Club at Southgate, Ky., and subsequent investigation of the lack of enforcement of state fire codes.
1979: Staff San Diego (CA) Evening Tribune, "for its coverage of the collision of a Pacific Southwest air liner with a small plane over its city.
1980: Staff The Philadelphia Inquirer, "for coverage of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.
1981: Staff Longview (WA) Daily News, "for its coverage of the Mt. St. Helens story, including the photographs by Roger A. Werth.
1982: Staff Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times, "for coverage of the Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster and identification of its causes.
1983: Editorial Staff Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel, "for its courageous and resourceful coverage of a devastating flood in March 1982.
1984: Newsday team of reporters Newsday, Long Island, NY, "for their enterprising and comprehensive coverage of the Baby Jane Doe case and its far-reaching social and political implications.
List of winners for Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting
1988: Staff of Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, "for an investigation that revealed serious flaws in the Massachusetts prison furlough system and led to significant statewide reforms."
1989: Staff of Louisville Courier-Journal, "for its exemplary initial coverage of a bus crash that claimed 27 lives and its subsequent thorough and effective examination of the causes and implications of the tragedy."
2012: Staff of The Tuscaloosa News, "for its enterprising coverage of a deadly tornado, using social media as well as traditional reporting to provide real-time updates, help locate missing people and produce in-depth print accounts even after power disruption forced the paper to publish at another plant 50 miles away."
2014:The Boston Globe staff "for its exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that enveloped the city, using photography and a range of digital tools to capture the full impact of the tragedy."
2017: Staff of East Bay Times, Oakland, CA "For relentless coverage of the “Ghost Ship” fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party, and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it."