SINGAPORE: Malaysia-born science journalist Ed Yong has won a Pulitzer Prize for his explanatory reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yong, who is based in Washington, DC, is a staff writer at the Atlantic.
According to the prize’s website, Yong won the Pulitzer for his “series of lucid, definitive pieces on the COVID-19 pandemic that anticipated the course of the disease, synthesized the complex challenges the country faced, illuminated the US government’s failures and provided clear and accessible context for the scientific and human challenges it posed”.
Responding to the accolade, Yong said on Saturday (Jun 12) that reporting on the pandemic was the most fulfilling and difficult challenge of his professional life.
“I did my best to give our readers a stable platform from which to make sense of a crisis that defied sense. I’m sad these stories were ever necessary, but I hope they made a difference,” he tweeted.
He also said that he was grateful to “around 300 sources who took time to share their expertise with (him) during a year when we all had little time to spare”.
Yong added that he will be splitting the US$15,000 prize money between the people who worked on his stories in 2020, including editors, fact checkers and artists.
“I could not have done this without the amazing people at the Atlantic, who collectively created an environment where award-winning work was possible,” he said.
“Even when individuals win Pulitzers, their work depends on a community. I want to honour mine.”
According to the Pulitzer Prize website, the award for explanatory reporting recognises “a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, using any available journalistic tool”.
Yong has also written for publications such as National Geographic, the New Yorker, the New York Times and Scientific American.