Pulitzer Board widens range of online journalism in entries

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, 212-854-3841 or sg138@columbia.edu
Melanie A. Farmer, 212-854-9082 or mf2362@columbia.edu

New York, Nov. 27, 2006 — The Pulitzer Prize Board announced today that newspapers may now submit a full array of online material-such as databases, interactive graphics, and streaming video-in nearly all of its journalism categories.

The board also announced that a category called Local Reporting will replace Beat Reporting as one of the 14 prizes in journalism.

All changes will apply to work done in 2006 for prizes awarded in 2007. The Pulitzer Prizes each year are administered at Columbia University.

Last year, the board for the first time allowed some online content in all categories. However, with the exception of the Public Service category, the online work was limited to written stories or still images.

Now, an assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images. The Pulitzer categories range from investigative and international reporting to commentary, editorial writing, and cartooning.

"This board believes that its much fuller embrace of online journalism reflects the direction of newspapers in a rapidly changing media world," said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

In two categories, Breaking News Reporting and Breaking News Photography, the board will continue to allow an entry consisting entirely of material published on a newspaper's Web site. In all other categories, an entry may contain online material, but it must also contain material published in the newspaper's print edition.

The definition of the new Local Reporting category states: "for a distinguished example of local reporting that illuminates significant issues or concerns."

The purpose of the new category is to encourage and honor exemplary local journalism, marked by strong reporting across a spectrum of potential subjects. "The Pulitzer Prizes have long valued such reporting," Gissler said, "but this makes our interest much more explicit."

While the local category replaces the Beat Reporting category that was created in 1991, the work of beat reporters remains eligible for entry in a wide range of categories that include-depending on the specialty involved-national, investigative, and explanatory reporting, as well as the new local category.

With its new rules for online submissions, the Pulitzer Board will require each online element to be a single, discretely designated presentation, such as a database, blog, interactive graphic, slide show, or video presentation. Each designated element will count as one item in the total number of items, print or online, that are permitted in an entry.

"In effect, a newspaper must call out which online element it wants to be considered," Gissler said. "If an element has multiple parts, such as a graphic with various entry points, the conceptual logic linking the parts must be clear."

In any category, according to the rules, online material must be published on the newspaper's Web site and, when submitted for competition, "must depict its original publication on the Web, not its subsequent update or alteration."

The revised rules, entry forms, and guidelines on the submission of entries can be found on the Pulitzer Prize Web site (www.pulitzer.org). The deadline for entries is Feb. 1, 2007.

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