SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 9, 2022 -- McClatchy announced today that journalists in two of its newsrooms have been named winners of 2022 Pulitzer Prizes. The Miami Herald staff won the Pulitzer Prize in the Breaking News category, and Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star won the Pulitzer Prize in the Commentary category.
The Miami Herald received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for its urgent, thorough and compassionate coverage of the deadly collapse of a beach-front condominium in Surfside, Florida. Miami Herald journalists reported from the site of the collapse for 25 straight days, built a database to help track the missing and lost, and worked with engineers and other experts to investigate the events that led to the deaths of 98 people.
Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star won the Pulitzer Prize for her courageous work in shining a spotlight on a Kansas City, Kansas, police detective who retired with a full pension despite accusations that he sexually assaulted dozens of mostly poor Black women while on the job. After breaking the news that the officer was walking free, Melinda stayed on the case and gave voice to a number of the vulnerable women he was accused of victimizing, some of whom agreed to tell their stories despite the personal risk.
“Our purpose is independent local journalism that serves the public. The work recognized today reflects our commitment to that mission,” said Kristin Roberts, who leads McClatchy’s news division as Chief Content Officer.
“Every element of the Miami Herald’s coverage – from the pieces that answered the most urgent questions to the poignant profiles to quick-turn investigation – started with a single foundational question: What does our community need in this moment?” Roberts said. “Melinda understands the crucial role that deep reporting plays in impactful opinion journalism. She is a clear and powerful writer whose work tells the stories of people ignored or forgotten.”
“We are proud of this work and thankful that the Pulitzer Prize jurors recognized its quality and significance,” said Roberts.
The award marked the fourth straight year Henneberger was honored by the Pulitzers. She was a finalist in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
McClatchy newsrooms have won 56 Pulitzer Prizes, including two by the Miami Herald in 2017.
“We are serving our communities by increasing the number of journalists on our team, experimenting with innovative technology that supplements their work and creating fuller and more satisfying digital experiences for readers, viewers and listeners. And by investing in journalism, we are returning our company to sustainable growth,” said Roberts.“
We at McClatchy know that great journalism generates results — both for our communities and our company.”