by Divino L. Cantal Jr.
photos by by Zhang Xiaoqing and Lingling Huang

Telling the truth and making change are the unified message of seven Pulitzer Prize winners to hundreds of communication and journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University during the 7th Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop opening ceremony and public forum.

“Journalism is a serious profession that potentially has a profound impact on the lives of the people by telling the truth, or by failing to tell the truth,” said George Rodrigue, who twice won the Pulitzer for his reports on discrimination in subsidized housing and violence against women.

“Maybe someone sitting in this audience someday will win the Pulitzer. All you have to do is to have the desire to make a difference and work really hard to expose injustices and to tell the stories of everyday people,” said Kristen Graham who, together with Susan Snyder, won the 2012 Public Service Award for their report on violence in Philadelphia schools.

Robin McDowell and Esther Htusan won the 2016 Pulitzer for Public Service for their investigative report on slavery in the seas of Southeast Asia, which led to justice and reforms.

William Snyder has won the Pulitzer four times since 1989 for photography and explanatory journalism.

Ben C. Solomon, who works for the New York Times, bagged the 2015 International Reporting award for his video stories on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“To be a good journalist, you have to be dedicated. You have to be sympathetic to people, and that is very important,” said Htusan.

The seven guests will deliver talks and lectures to students this week. The workshop aims to broaden the vision of journalists and enhance the quality of journalism education in Hong Kong and the Greater China region.
The Pulitzer Prizes are the highest accolade bestowed on journalists in United States. Named after Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian – American journalist and publisher, the award covers major fields of journalism. It is celebrating its centennial this year.

View photo gallery below: