Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, freelance reporter, wins the Pulitizer for portrait of Dylann Roof / NYT

Ms. Ghansah’s portrait of Dylann Roof was cited for its “unique and powerful mix of reportage, first-person reflection and analysis of the historical and cultural forces” behind his murder of nine parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. It was the first Pulitzer for GQ magazine. Ms. Ghansah, 36, said that she initially thought her piece would be centered on the victims’ families but that “it felt inappropriate to keep probing them while allowing Dylann Roof to have the sanctity of silence we often afford white domestic terrorists.” Ms. Ghansah, an essayist, added that she wanted to honor them “very, very much.”

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