EMILY RAUH PULITZER, Board Chair
JON SAWYER, CEO and President
In 2022, we supported
275 projects • 389 journalists • in 89 countries • 750+ stories
The Pulitzer Center empowers a global community of journalists and media outlets to deepen engagement with critical underreported issues, bridge divides, and spur change. Ongoing focus areas for the Center in 2022 included migration, peace and conflict, social and racial justice, Indigenous, gender, and LGBTQIA rights, the environment, global health, misinformation, criminal justice, and the rise of authoritarianism. Our reporting is sparking real-world change, providing tools and resources for journalists and newsrooms, building networks of collaboration, and transforming careers.
The U.S. announced that it would block all imports of raw sugar from a top Dominican producer after an investigation by grantees Sandy Tolan, Michael Montgomery, and Euclides Cordero Nuel found evidence of forced labor at a sprawling Caribbean plantation. The company, Central Romana Corp., sells sugar that reaches global consumers under the Domino and Hershey brands.
In an investigation for The Dallas Morning News, AI Accountability Fellow Arijit Sen and journalist Derêka Bennett revealed that the AI tool Social Sentinel was used by university officials across the U.S. to monitor student protest activity while claiming to help prevent mass shootings and student suicides. The reporting resulted in at least one university dropping its contract, a legislative inquiry, and multiple university and student newsroom investigations.
In December 2022, Mongabay featured a story by grantee Justin Catanoso in which the first whistleblower of the wood pellet producer Enviva came forward to discredit sustainability claims made by the industry giant—the world’s largest maker of wood pellets for energy and a prominent exporter of biomass to the European Union. Now, the Center-supported work has reached the parliament of The Netherlands, influencing its decision to end subsidies to “untruthful” biomass firms on December 15, 2022.
The Rainforest Investigations Network fills a gap in reporting that otherwise wouldn't be filled—and that's without even touching on all the training, friendships, and collaborations that come with the fellowship!
GERALD FLYNN, Cambodia-based RIN Fellow
After a Rainforest Journalism Fund-supported story by grantee Richard Drasimaku found that the illegal sales of charcoal were contributing to destruction of the delicate ecosystems of the Mount Kei Forest Reserve, the Koboko district of Uganda shut down eight charcoal markets at the Busia border crossing into South Sudan.
Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman reported on how a colonial legacy—not digital misinformation—was at the core of Ghanaians' reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. After his project was published in PRI’s The World, Dini-Osman became a regular contributor.
The Center’s continuous support of my work is absolutely important for me to be a truly independent journalist and to take on ambitious projects that matter.
JANE QIU, China-based freelance grantee
Read Qiu’s in-depth profile of the scientist at the center of the COVID-19 origin controversy
Over 30 awards and citations received in 2022
In 2022, reporting supported by the Pulitzer Center received more than 30 awards and citations, including two Emmys, the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award, Amnesty International Award, Overseas Press Club Award, Hinzpeter Award, National Native Media Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists Award, as well as Pulitzer Prize and George Polk finalist recognitions. Grantees were honored for their reporting on issues ranging from COVID-19, gender equality, and racial justice to climate change, Indigenous rights, and migration.
Pulitzer Center grantee Nate Hegyi was a winner in the 2022 Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) National Native Media Awards. His reporting with Cheryl W. Thompson for the article “Indian Affairs Promised To Reform Tribal Jails. We Found Death, Neglect, and Disrepair” won first place for Best Coverage of Native America in the radio/podcast category.
Beijing-based Pulitzer Center grantee Jane Qiu has won an AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. Qiu won a Silver award in the In-Depth Science Reporting category for her story “Meet the Scientist at the Center of the Covid Lab Leak Controversy,” published in MIT Technology Review in February 2022.
The documentary "‘Get Away From the Target’ - Rescuing Migrants From the Libyan Coast Guard," produced as part of the project Migrants Seeking Amnesty Blocked in Libyan Waters by grantee Ian Urbina, won an Emmy in the Outstanding Crime and Justice Coverage category. Grantees Sam Wolson and Ben Mauk won an Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Media for their virtual reality documentary, Reeducated.
This story would not have been possible without the support of Pulitzer. Other than the award money, it made me feel supported and gave me a network. This is hugely important when trying to work as a freelancer. More than the award money, it was Pulitzer's belief in my project that made a big difference.
KALPANA JAIN, grantee
Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellowships empower university students and recent graduates to tell stories that impact the world around them. The fellowships also help launch careers by building Fellows' confidence, creating networks, and developing journalism skills that will serve Fellows well, no matter the field they pursue.
Sixty-eight Reporting Fellows from 40 partner universities covered topics related to global health, food insecurity, water shortages, Indigenous rights, the rights of women, the search for identity, migration and refugees, and the war in Ukraine. Some made discoveries close to home, while others explored new territory in South Korea, the Philippines, Pakistan, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and Argentina.
Columbia University Fellows Gabriella Canal and Michael Fearon won a Student Academy Award for their documentary Seasons, featured in The New Yorker. Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque from City Colleges of Chicago, a Rohingya refugee who escaped Myanmar and arrived in the U.S. after a perilous seven-year journey, won a Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence National Award.
Our Campus Consortium Fellows came together for Washington Weekend to share their amazing reporting, question assumptions, hear from veteran journalist speakers, and take part in a D.C. scavenger hunt. Jana Rose Schleis, from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, said, "I am so happy and thankful for all the folks I got to meet and learn from; I feel so lucky to be a part of the Pulitzer Center family."
Reporting on feminist filmmakers in Lebanon was one of the best experiences of my life, and I have the Pulitzer Center to thank for that. It’s reinforced that journalism can serve as a powerful tool for illuminating and ultimately challenging injustice in the world.
MEERA SANTHANAM, 2022 University of Chicago Reporting Fellow
250 events reaching more than 14,000 people
Our outreach programming brings journalists from diverse identities and experiences to universities, colleges, and public forums to amplify Pulitzer Center reporting, build public awareness and understanding of complex issues, inspire journalism-informed action, build networks, and bridge divides. Public engagements focused on a wide range of issues throughout the year, including global health, migration, climate change, peace and conflict, criminal justice, religion, racial and gender justice, as well as the role of journalism in our democracy.
Award-winning PBS NewsHour
correspondent and Pulitzer Center grantee Jane Ferguson and shared her reporting on conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine at the inaugural University of Oklahoma Campus Consortium visit, reaching hundreds of students, faculty, and alums. We also hosted virtual Ukraine-Russia-focused events, including “Leading an Investigative Newsroom in Wartime” with Russian and Ukrainian journalists Roman Anin and Anna Babinets, and a Twitter Spaces event with grantee Nick Schifrin from PBS NewsHour.
Our 2022 annual conference, Interconnected: Reporting the Climate Crisis, focused on the urgent global crisis facing our planet’s coastlines, rainforests, oceans, and polar regions. The two-day conference brought together over 150 journalists, editors, educators, and experts from more than 30 countries, with 3,000 viewers tuning in virtually via Zoom and YouTube. We focused on local climate issues in the United States through our Bringing Stories Home initiative, including conversations on sea level rise in Maine with the Maine Monitor, and ocean health and fisheries with The Seattle Times and Anchorage Daily News.
Grantees Pendarvis Harshaw and Brandon Tauszik presented Facing Life, profiling eight individuals’ reentry experiences after being released from prison life sentences in California, to hundreds of university students in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Performances of The BOX through the 10-city End of Isolation Tour used immersive theater to underscore both the horror of solitary confinement and the humanity of people subjected to it. The 24 performances reached thousands of audience members and engaged local communities and educators in conversations with the cast and advocates for prison reform.
I got [a] deeper understanding of Afghan women's lives, both in Afghanistan and in the countries they went to as refugees. Thank you for sharing details about individuals—stories teach better than statistics.
AUDIENCE MEMBER, “Far From Home” webinar
In 2022, we launched the International Education and Outreach program, focused on connecting students and communities in tropical rainforest regions with urgent issues around deforestation and climate change as reported by Pulitzer Center grantees.
The Amazon in the Anthropocene course reached nearly 800 students across five public universities in Brazil’s Amazon regions. After the course, students said the topics were important and that they felt empowered for further discussion. Amazonía Lab engages close to 6,000 people each week across the broader Amazon region via newsletters and WhatsApp groups.
The Congo Basin Teacher's Hub established a network of 90-plus K-12 educators. In partnership with the Congolese Ministry of Education, teachers were trained on how to integrate the protection of rainforests into their practice. They then built lesson plans during 59 workshops that reached 6,041 students who then took action by creating their own projects to protect the environment. The Congo Basin Young Professionals Talk directly engaged over 600,000 people using radio, face-to-face events, and social networks to discuss the protection of the Congo Basin forests.
The Southeast Asia Journalist-Scientist Rainforest Hub has connected 1,172 students and academics to the realities of forests and climate crisis issues. Four universities received Impact Seed Funding (ISF) to lead rainforest protection-themed projects. The #ShowMeYourTree campaign took off, with audiences sharing content ranging from photographs to comics and short films, inspiring influencers like former Miss Thailand to join. The campaign culminated with the Our Roots, Our Forest art exhibition in Bangkok.
We learned that we must keep our environment, and avoid cutting trees. […] We shall do our best to share all this with our students and community.
MICHEL LUKOKI, teacher in Kinshasa
524 events • 93 lesson and unit plans • reaching more than 21,396 students and 4,456 teachers
The Pulitzer Center domestic K-12 programs work to extend the impact of journalism and cultivate a more curious, informed, empathetic, and engaged public by connecting students and teachers around the world with underreported global news stories and the journalists who cover them.
In 2022, students worldwide connected with Pulitzer Center journalists and staff for media literacy and journalism workshops, exploring reporting by over 70 journalists covering the most critical global issues of our time.
Some 2,000 students honed their writing, photography, and video skills in Center-led workshops; 3,000 more took action by contributing work to our student contests and researching global issues through our Teacher Fellowship program lesson plans.
Our 1619 education program outreach expanded with alumni from our Education Network and Afterschool Partnership programs, becoming education partners in teaching hard history, culturally responsive pedagogy, and intentional curriculum. Education partners from these programs have helped to facilitate a dozen professional development workshops, reaching more than 1,000 teachers this year, including in collaboration with education partners such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
This was one of the best professional development experiences in my teaching career. Pulitzer [Center] resources are a permanent part of my curriculum.
CATHERINE YACKEE, high school educator, Chicago, Illinois
2021-2022 Teacher Fellowship and 1619 Network
Advancing DEI through our programs and organizational practices
Since publishing our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mission statement and commitments in 2020, the Pulitzer Center staff have worked both internally and externally to develop initiatives, mechanisms for feedback, and evaluation metrics that support our commitment to centering DEI in our programs and organizational practices.
It was terrific that you were able to connect my classroom with a younger, female-identified journalist of color. This matches our community really well and helped my students stay engaged.
MOLLEEN DUPREE-DOMINGUEZ, teacher in Oakland, California
This visit was very accommodating for my students with IEP and ENL services.
ALEXANDRA COMENS, teacher
You are very conscious of the need for [diversity, equity, and inclusion], and your application of representation from panelists, to topics, to accessibility for all was spot on. Thank you!
TAMMY SINKFIELD, 2022 Reporting Fellow Film Festival attendee
In addition to the operating revenue of $8.8 million, the Pulitzer Center received endowment gifts and pledges of $2.21 million in 2022.
Support for the Pulitzer Center this year came from:
Art for Justice Fund, Arnold Ventures, our Campus Consortium partner schools, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Facebook Journalism Project, Fore River Foundation, Hartfield Foundation, Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Humanity United, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Julian Grace Foundation, Laudes Foundation, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, One Earth Fund, Open Society Foundations, PIMCO Foundation, Poklon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Trellis Charitable Fund, Walton Family Foundation, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.
This broad mix of foundation funding, along with continued core support from members of the Pulitzer family, board members, and many other generous individuals, ensures the independent journalism and education that is essential to our mission in these times. We are grateful to all who continue to sustain our work. We hope that others will join.