Malaysia-Born British Journalist Ed Yong Awarded Pulitzer Prize For Explanatory Reporting
As Malaysians, we’re always proud of the successes some of our fellow Malaysians achieve overseas, even when some of them no longer reside in this country, our pride for anything Malaysian runs deep. So when Malaysia-born British scientist journalist Edmund Yong was announced as the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting, it’s only natural we celebrate this feat as our own.
Edmund Soon-Weng Yong, better known as Ed Yong, was born in Malaysia in 1981 before he migrated to the UK when he was 13 years old and gained British citizenship in 2005. Since 2015, Yong has been writing for American magazine The Atlantic, where he won the award for his series of articles where he correctly anticipated the course of the coronavirus pandemic, clarified its risks, and addressed the American government’s failure to curb it.
Congratulations to @edyong209 of @TheAtlantic. #Pulitzer pic.twitter.com/1mRC4joewz — The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) June 11, 2021
According to The Atlantic, Yong’s 2018 investigative article “When the Next Plague Hits” showed that he had been warning readers about America’s lack of pandemic preparedness long before Covid-19 even emerged.
Speaking on his achievement, Yong said “I could not have done this without the amazing people at The Atlantic, who collectively created an environment where award-winning work was possible. It really takes a village.”
And in recognition of that collective effort, Yong announced that he would be splitting the prize money between everyone who helped worked on his pieces last year. “Even when individuals win Pulitzers, their work depends on a community. I want to honour mine,” said Yong.
Often regarded as the most prestigious award in the literary world, The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States.
Apart from his work at The Atlantic, Yong was also selected for his excellence in science writing on his popular blog Not Exactly Rocket Science as well as his first book I Contain Multitudes, which focuses on microbiology.