Journalism is always moving forward, onto the next piece of breaking news. The Pulitzer Prizes offer a moment to look back and acknowledge some of the best journalism of the last year. The 2021 winners were announced on June 11, and include recognition for coverage of two of the biggest stories of the year, the pandemic and rise of Black Lives Matter in response to killings of Black men. The New York Times won the public service award for its “courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic that exposed racial and economic inequities, government failures in the U.S. and beyond, and filled a data vacuum that helped local governments, healthcare providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected.” Ed Yong of The Atlantic was recognized for his coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Star Tribune in Minneapolis won for “urgent, authoritative and nuanced coverage of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and of the reverberations that followed.” And Mitchell S. Jackson won a Pulitzer for a heartbreaking profile about Ahmaud Arbery published in Runner’s World.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The Glider was so much lighter without my dad.” - Riley Speidel, a 16-year-old licensed pilot who at 14 became the youngest person to fly coast-to-coast in the U.S. (see Face to Face article).
GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK
It’s a good week for America’s favorite pastime in Monterey County, specifically the Pecos League’s return to Sollecito Park in Monterey, where the Monterey Amberjacks played their first home game of the season on June 11. This season marks a return to normal, after a season suspended due to the pandemic, and brings a whole new lineup of players for the local under-25 minor league team. So far, their record this year is one win and three losses, with no wins on their home turf so far – maybe they just need more local fans? Pecos League Commissioner Andrew Dunn says the vibe has been positive all around, even if fans aren’t seeing their team win: “People just want to come out and see a game. They don’t care about the score. They just want to see a game, hear some music, drink some beer.” Tickets are $10, and games continue at 6pm on Fridays and 1pm Saturdays and Sundays.
It’s been 15 months of sheltering in place to varying degrees, as public health measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 took a toll on our movement, our economy, our mental health. California met a major reopening milestone this week, with most restrictions lifting on June 15. No more stay-at-home orders, no more capacity limits on how many people can be inside businesses, no more six-foot distancing. Some restrictions remain; for example, large stadium-type indoor events will require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result at least until Oct. 1, and many establishments will continue to require mask-wearing, but it’s expected to feel most like a return to “normal.” “With the lifting of restrictions tomorrow, we anticipate a welcomed return to a sense of normalcy,” says Frank Geisler, president of the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.