Pittsburgh newspaper wins Pulitzer for synagogue attack coverage

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette awarded 2019 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting.

Ben Ariel ,

Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Alexi Rosenfeld

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for its coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre last October, JTA reported Monday.

Eleven people were shot and killed by a gunman during the rampage, which came as congregants at the synagogue complex in Pittsburgh were gathering for Shabbat morning services.

The prize, the most prestigious in journalism, was awarded to the daily’s entire reporting staff, according to JTA.

The prize committee cited the Post-Gazette 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.”

Among the 10 stories cited was an investigative profile of the gunman and how he went “from conservative to white nationalist.”

The coverage also included a front-page headline containing the first four words of the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer in Hebrew letters.

The gunman, Robert Bowers, used an AR-15 assault-style rifle in the attack on a Shabbat morning and allegedly yelled “I want to kill all Jews” during the attack.

He was indicted on 44 counts at the end of October and later pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in a federal courtroom.

In January, a federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers. 13 of the new counts are hate crime violations and the others accuse him of obstructing religious beliefs and discharging a firearm during crimes of violence.

Bowers pleaded not guilty to the new hate crimes charges as well.