Congrats to the staff and editorial board of The Baltimore Sun for being named Pulitzer Prize finalists for their coverage of the death of Freddie Gray.
As the committee rightly pointed out, The Sun's breaking news reporting reflected "the newsroom's knowledge of the community and advanc[ed] the conversation about police violence."
But the group in charge of handing out the most esteemed prize in all of journalism screwed the pooch when it got the most basic of facts wrong: They praised Baltimore's paper of record for its work on "the rioting that followed the shooting death of Freddie Gray."
Shooting death? What?
The same error was made in the Editorial Writing category, where Andrew Green, Tricia Bishop, Peter Jensen, and Glenn McNatt were commended for their "editorials that demanded accountability in the aftermath of the shooting death of Freddie Gray while also offering guidance to a trouble city." To top it all off, the Pulitzer committee tagged the New York Times in its tweet announcing the editorial board's finalist designation, as Sun reporter Justin Fenton points out. Oof.
Of course, there's been an alarming amount of police shootings over the last year, as seen in in The Washington Post's award-winning database. But come on, y'all, how could you mess this up?
The glaring error prompted Twitter user @DrRockt0pus (disclosure: a friend of mine) to wonder: "Did the committee read any of it?"
UPDATE: As of 7:20 p.m., the Pulitzer committee has corrected both write-ups.