The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, which is exciting for those of us who are crazy about important news, wonderful books, and so much more. What caught my eye was a prize given to an editorial cartoonist named Barry Blitt, whose work is an integral contribution to The New Yorker.
If you read The New Yorker, in print or online, you know that Blitt’s work is so charming, but his work packs a punch. The image on this post is dated from February 2016 — pre-election — but he totally understood what was going on. I remember pulling the magazine out of my mailbox, and looking at the cover, I had to laugh, especially when looking at George Washington’s reaction. Along with Blitt, a writer named Ben Taub won a 2020 Pulitzer in the feature-writing category with a piece in The New Yorker.
The magazine announced Blitt’s honor like this: (Barry) Blitt won in the editorial-cartooning category for work that included several magazine covers and an array of cartoons published exclusively online. For nearly three decades in the pages of The New Yorker and, more recently, in a regular series on the magazine’s Web site, Blitt’s political cartoons have parodied, delighted, and informed. The Pulitzer judges recognized Blitt “for work that skewers the personalities and policies emanating from the Trump White House with deceptively sweet watercolor style and seemingly gentle caricatures.”
Below are links to the announcement from The New Yorker, to the Pulitzer Prize committee listing all winners (some amazing work), and to NPR, which notes that the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes included a special citation honoring the work of Ida B. Wells, who chronicled her work traveling in the 1890s to cover the lynchings in the United States.
As a footnote, my former employer, the Rocky Mountain News, won two Pulitzers: 2000 and 2003, both in the category of breaking new photography (Columbine High School shootings and the horrible fires early in the decade). The News’ photographers were amazing, risking their lives to tell these stories — and true news. (The Denver Post has won several, which is an honor.)