BY: Michelle Liew
With mass media being the key in ensuring everyone is kept up to date with the ongoing circumstances of the pandemic, it is vital that such reports are accurate and detailed.
Malaysian-born British journalist Ed Yong has won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for his explanatory reporting of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a tweet by The Pulitzer Prizes on June 12, Yong, a science writer with the American magazine The Atlantic since 2015, has been awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) June 11, 2021
In response to this, the 39-year-old tweeted that reporting on the pandemic was the most fulfilling challenge to his professional life, albeit the treacherous journey.
“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 on June 12.
Yong expressed his deepest gratitude to the Pulitzer board and jurors for his win. He also thanked the 300 sources who took their time and effort to share their expertise with him. Last but not least, he thanked his colleagues at The Atlantic.
“It really takes a village, and in recognition of that I’ll be splitting the prize money between everyone who worked on my pieces last year – every editor, copy editor, fact checker, artist, and more. Even when individuals win Pulitzers, their work depends on a community. I want to honour mine,” he said.
I’ll be splitting the prize money between everyone who worked on my pieces last year—every editor, copy editor, fact checker, artist, and more. Even when individuals win Pulitzers, their work depends on a community. I want to honor mine.
— Ed Yong (@edyong209) June 11, 2021
Saving the best for last, he also thanked his wife – science communicator Liz Neeley.
“@lizneely kept me afloat through all of it. Her ferocious intellect, boundless empathy, and ability to maintain optimism while facing cold reality, are all part of the DNA of my work. I love you, Liz. You’re my whole, my hope, my home,” tweeted Yong.
I’d like to say the same thing to you as I did in my speech: for the past year+, we have all struggled to make sense of a global crisis while attempting to survive it. We will continue to cope with it all for years. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/mNmfjwN8BB
— LizNeeley (@LizNeeley) June 12, 2021
The Atlantic stated that Yong “anticipated the course of the coronavirus pandemic, clarified its dangers, and illuminated the American government’s disastrous failure to curb it” through a page on its website compiling Yong’s articles. It was highlighted that Yong’s articles correctly predicted an interconnected set of dangers for the US. This encompassed breakdowns in international communication, chronic under-funding of public health, shortages of supplies and scientific expertise at the federal level.
Yong was born in Malaysia and immigrated to the UK at the age of 13, subsequently becoming a citizen in 2005.