Reuters today was named a finalist for two Pulitzer Prizes, one of the most prestigious journalism awards, presented by Columbia University.
In the National Reporting category, the Reuters series “Undocumented and Underage,” by Joshua Schneyer, Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke, was named a finalist for uncovering the widespread and illegal use of child workers at auto-parts factories in the U.S. Children, some as young as 12, were building parts in Alabama for two of the world’s most successful automakers: Hyundai and sister brand Kia. The series’ revelation, in July, that minors were working in the supply chains of major multinationals in the world’s richest country was shocking – and had immediate impact.
Authorities soon found and rescued kids from one factory, and employers released other children from similar jobs. Alabama and U.S. agencies launched at least 10 investigations into the hiring practices that led the children to perilous factory floors in the first place. They have fined one plant for “oppressive child labor,” and federal officials are now investigating whether some of the kids, after being smuggled into the U.S. from Central America, worked in “debt bondage” to repay traffickers for their journey.
In the International Reporting category, the Reuters series “Nightmare in Nigeria,” by Paul Carsten, David Lewis, Reade Levinson and Libby George, was named a finalist for exposing a systematic forced-abortion program and targeted killings of children by the Nigerian military, spurring calls by the U.S., the UK and the UN for official investigations into the conduct of the nation’s war on Islamist insurgents.
The series exposed abuses more insidious and brutal than previously recorded, or even imagined. The victims: thousands of women and children in Nigeria’s northeast, site of Abuja’s long, bloody, Western-backed war against Islamist insurgents. Seasoned diplomats and Nigeria specialists expressed shock at the atrocities uncovered by Reuters. The Nigerian government initially refused to investigate the abortion allegations, saying they were false. But after the international outcry, the military said it would cooperate with an investigation by the country’s Human Rights Commission.
The 2023 Pulitzer Prize recognitions add to Reuters ten previous wins and nine previous finalists. For more of Reuters award-winning journalism, visit Reuters.com.
Heather.Carpenter @ tr.com