Alison Killing, a British architect and geospatial analyst who uses maps and data to investigate social issues, has – along with the journalist Megha Rajagopalan and the programmer Christo Buschek – won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, thanks to a series of stories published in 2020 by Buzzfeed News that revealed a vast Chinese infrastructure allegedly built for the mass incarceration of Muslims.
Based in Rotterdam, Killing used her urban planning knowledge and know-how in the team’s effort to spot the prison camps by means of maps and satellite images. Killing identified the detention complexes by comparing areas on China’s map tool Baidu Maps with images from external satellite data providers, where the secret zones were not blanked out.
The project, which included interviews conducted with two dozen former prisoners, proved the existence of these facilities.
The stories awarded are: