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Pulitzer Prize awards based on politics not journalism, say veteran Russian experts

April 17, 17:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The New York Times and The Washington Post have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the National Reporting category

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© REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Awarding a Pulitzer Prize for the coverage of 'Russiagate' (Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election) reflects the predominant mood within the United States and indicates a crisis among political elites, said Russian experts interviewed by TASS.

The New York Times and The Washington Post have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the National Reporting category "for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign."

"Regrettably, the current Russia-US relationship deserves much better," Russian Journalists Union Chairman Vladimir Solovyov said. "American journalism seems to have aligned itself with the mainstream. Those awarding the globally renowned Pulitzer Prize have also joined its ranks. This is why there is nothing to comment on, all that one can do is shrug it off and hope that in the coming years, the Pulitzer Prize may be awarded for something on a genuine basis," he added.

Solovyov stressed that "the Senate commission has not yet presented any evidence that corroborates Russia’s meddling in the American election." "The fact that since so much has been written about it [Russiagate], and it enjoys so much popularity that even prizes are handed out for it, indicates the current level of American journalism that no one should look up to," he noted.

Major rift splits US political elite

Andrei Bystritsky, the Chairman of the Board of the Valdai Discussion Club’s Development and Support Foundation, believes that "there is some profound political drama unfolding within the US establishment."

"In my view, this year’s Pulitzer Prize reflects America’s state of mind rather than the quality of journalism. And that frame of mind is going through some serious internal drama," he noted.

The expert pointed out "there is a huge divide within the US elite, it is unclear when relative unity will be restored and to where this conflict will lead."

"Most publications on this issue are nothing more than assumptions. There are a lot of far-fetched details and very few real things. Someone recorded someone doing something, there are some facts. But actual interference is a world away from that," the expert added.

Question of politics, not journalism

Veteran journalist and TV host Vladimir Pozner noted that he hadn’t read the articles in question but believed the two newspapers to be examples of great professionalism.

"Clearly, the main issue that is troubling us are the allegations that our country somehow interfered in the American election, while our leadership firmly refutes it. This is the reason for our reaction to the awarding of the Pulitzer Prize. It is a question of politics, not journalism," he stressed.

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