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2012 Pulitzer Prize seminar slide show

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Holding Up the Mirror

Six leading journalists told how their work alerted society to grave problems and won 2012 Pulitzer Prizes. Speaking to a capacity crowd at the Columbia Journalism School on Oct. 16, they delved into the origin of their stories and shared reporting tips and techniques. Under the theme of "Holding Up the Mirror," the participants were: Susan Snyder and Mike Leary of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times, Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post and Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan of the Assocated Press.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


Photos by Susan Cook

Journalist, playwright and regional newspaper editor named to Pulitzer Prize Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu and 212-854-6164


New York (Oct. 23, 2012) – A prominent journalist, an honored playwright and the editor of a distinguished regional newspaper have been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

They are Steve Coll, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper correspondent and nonfiction author, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine; Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama; and Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez, vice president and executive editor of The Miami Herald, which has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes in its history and was twice a Pulitzer finalist in recent years.


Steve Coll

After a distinguished 20-year career at The Washington Post, rising from general assignment reporter to managing editor, Coll joined The New Yorker staff in 2005. The author of seven books, he has also served as president of the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research and public policy institution, since 2007. He plans to step down as foundation president after a successor is selected.

Coll has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, once for Explanatory Reporting, for a series of Washington Post articles that he co-authored with David A. Vise in 1990 about the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in 2005, for General Nonfiction, for his book, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.

Joining The Washington Post in 1985 as a reporter, Coll moved two years later to New York City to cover the world of corporate takeovers on Wall Street, the stock market crash, the Michael Milken investigations and the SEC as the newspaper’s financial correspondent. In 1989, he moved to New Delhi to become the paper’s South Asia correspondent. For three years he covered India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In 1992, he was appointed the newspaper’s first international investigative correspondent, based in London, from where he traveled widely to cover emerging trans-national subjects such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation and global economic integration.

His other professional awards include the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding foreign reporting. He received the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone, as well as the Overseas Press Club Award for international magazine writing. His 2008 book, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century, received P.E.N. America’s John Kenneth Galbraith prize, and was a Pulitzer finalist in Biography. His latest book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, has been shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.

His other books are: The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on the Street, based on the Pulitzer-winning account of the SEC's battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (1994).

Coll graduated cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, from Occidental College in 1980 with a degree in English and history. He lives in New York.


Quiara Alegría Hudes

A playwright and educator, Hudes won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful. Variety hailed the play as “a combination poem, prayer and app on how to cope in an age of uncertainty, speed and chaos.”

Hudes made her New York debut with the drama Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007. The New York Times welcomed Hudes' "confident and arresting voice," calling the play "a theater work that succeeds on every level while creating something new."

Hudes’ book for Broadway’s In the Heights was also a Pulitzer finalist and a Tony nominee, and the piece won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008 before touring nationally and internationally to widespread acclaim. New York magazine called In the Heights "an extraordinary blend of old and new, a stylistically groundbreaking 21st-century musical."

Originally trained as a musician, Hudes studied classical piano, Afro-Cuban piano, American music, and composition. She received a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree in playwriting from Brown University. Though she no longer composes, Hudes continues to engage music as a deep and common thread in her playwriting. She has collaborated with master musicians like Michel Camilo and Nelson Gonzales, folding their profound musical expression into her dramatic structures.

Hudes serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and as a Board Member at Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the organization that produced her first play in the 10th grade. Much of Hudes’ writing is set in Philadelphia, her hometown. She has been honored for her creative exploration of that city’s divergent communities, including a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia and her personal favorite honor – being among the first group of women inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame since the public school’s founding in 1836.

Hudes lives in New York with her husband and daughter.


Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez

As executive editor of The Miami Herald, Marqués has oversight and responsibility for the newspaper’s print and online news operation, which reaches 1.2 million readers a week. A 1986 graduate of the University of Florida, she began her journalism career 25 years ago as a summer intern at the newspaper covering community news. During nearly a decade of local reporting, Marqués went on to cover Hialeah, the second largest city in the newspaper’s home county, and followed the landmark case involving the Santeria religion to the U.S. Supreme Court. She moved to editing in 1994, where she directed government reporting, local politics and breaking news. Named deputy metro editor in 2000, she oversaw metro, state and community news operations.

From 2002 to 2007, Marqués was Miami bureau chief for People magazine, overseeing coverage for the southeast U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. She returned to The Miami Herald in 2007 as a multimedia editor to help launch Miami.com, the newspaper’s entertainment website. As executive features/Sunday editor, she directed a redesign of the lifestyle sections from tabloid to broadsheet. She also was responsible for the newsroom’s enterprise stories and for oversight of the Sunday paper. Named managing editor in 2010, Marqués led a wide-ranging newsroom reorganization building teams around content, design and the distribution of stories across platforms. During her tenure as managing editor, The Miami Herald was a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.

In November 2010, Marqués was named executive editor, the newspaper’s first Hispanic editor and only the second woman to hold the post. During her editorship, The Miami Herald was a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for a series detailing the state’s systemic failures in regulating assisted-living facilities. She is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute, sits on the board of the Associated Press Media Editors and has served as a Pulitzer journalism juror. She was named one of the 2011-2012 Alumni of Distinction for the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Marqués and her husband have two children.

------------------------------------------------

The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.

Pulitzer Prize seminars

2013

Waiting to Be Told

Six journalists from news organizations large and small deconstructed their Pulitzer Prize-winning work and shared their down-to-earth tips during a seminar on Oct. 22 at the Columbia Journalism School. Speaking to a capacity crowd, they told how they used investigative techniques to dig into remarkable stories that were waiting to be discovered. The topics and participants were:

click on photo to enlarge

Speeding off-duty cops imperil the public
Sun Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, Public Service Prize, Sally Kestin and John Maines

The biggest oil spill you never heard of
InsideClimate News, National Reporting Prize, Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song

Inside a deadly backcountry avalanche
The New York Times, Feature Writing Prize, John Branch and Steve Duenes

Sheila Coronel, director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, moderated the program.


watch slide show of the event

watch video of the event


2012

Holding Up the Mirror

Six leading journalists told how their work alerted society to grave problems and won 2012 Pulitzer Prizes. Speaking to a capacity crowd at the Columbia Journalism School on Oct. 16, they delved into the origins of their stories and shared reporting tips and techniques. Under the theme of “Holding Up the Mirror,” the topics and participants were:

Pervasive violence in public schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, Public Service Prize, Susan Snyder and Mike Leary

The deadly embrace of a painkiller
Seattle Times, Investigative Reporting Prize, Michael J. Berens

Controversial spying by New York police
Associated Press, Investigative Reporting Prize, Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan

Hidden wounds of struggling veterans Denver Post, Feature Photography Prize, Craig F. Walker

Sheila Coronel, director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, moderated the program.

watch slide show of the event

watch video of the event


2011

Hiding in Plain Sight

Pulitzer-winning journalists share their tips


At Columbia
Four reporters explained how their investigative work won 2011 Pulitzer Prizes during a seminar at Columbia’s Journalism School on Oct. 4. As is often the case, their stories were “hiding in plain sight,” waiting to be discovered and pursued. The panelists were Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives of the Los Angeles Times, who exposed astonishing corruption in a small California city; Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark, who reconstructed the death of six fishermen; and Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, who revealed how unsuspecting Floridians face hurricanes with flimsy insurance protection from shaky companies. Moderator was Walt Bogdanich, New York Times, three-time Pulitzer winner.

Watch video of the event

At Stanford
Later in the year, Gottlieb, Vives and fellow staffer Paloma Esquivel spoke about their corruption story at Stanford in an event sponsored by the Pulitzer Prizes and the Knight Journalism Fellows.

Watch video of the event

Video of 2012 luncheon remarks

Pulitzer Board Co-Chair Gregory Moore's remarks from
the 2012 Pulitzer Prize Luncheon, May 21, 2012.
(Introduction by Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize Administrator).


Pulitzer Board Co-Chair Thomas Friedman's remarks from
the 2012 Pulitzer Prize Luncheon, May 21, 2012.
(Introduction by Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize Administrator).


Pulitzer Board Co-Chair Gregory Moore's presentation of the 2012 Prizes at the Pulitzer Luncheon, May 21, 2012. Mr. Moore is assisted by Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize Administrator.

2012 luncheon slide show

Click on image below to start slideshow

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Gregory Moore welcome

Pulitzer Awards Ceremony
Monday, May 21, 2012
Columbia University

I am Gregory Moore, editor of The Denver Post and co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board. On behalf of the Board, and everyone associated with our work here, I want to welcome you to this special occasion. It really doesn't get better than this.

The smiles are bright and broad, the wine is flowing, the chests are poked out and new bonds are born. And that is just on a personal note.

But it is fitting that these awards and this luncheon come this time of year. This is the season of renewal and so it is for our craft. It is an honor and privilege to read the great work being done in our industry and I know everyone engaged with the work comes away inspired -- from jurors to the Board itself.

It is simply breathtaking to see the work that makes it into print and onto our various websites. Whatever, one might want to say about the challenges facing journalism today, the newsrooms are not the problem.

So your presence here proves it once again, that fabulous work can be done anywhere, by anyone. What makes this day even more special is you can share it with loved ones, spouses and significant others who make a lot of sacrifices so we can do what we do.

To our winners, this is a day you'll never forget. Drink it all in, enjoy it and savor it.

The only thing that might be better than today is a tomorrow in which you find yourself sitting here again. And that will mean you will done something really amazing for journalism, for your communities and for yourself.

Again, welcome and congratulations.

Thomas Friedman remarks

Pulitzer Awards Ceremony
Monday, May 21, 2012
Columbia University

On behalf of Greg Moore and myself, I want to thank you all for being here this afternoon at this happy occasion. Before I share a few remarks, I want to say that I am entering my ninth and final year on this Board and throughout that time I and my colleagues have benefited from the endless good judgment, good cheer and even temper of the Pulitzer Administrator, Sig Gissler. The Pulitzer Trust and Board are hugely in his debt. Anyone who has served on this Board during Sig’s tenure will tell you that.

Since the only thing standing between you all and your Pulitzer Prizes is my speech, I promise I will not be long. I thought I would simply take a few minutes to share with you what I have learned from eight years judging the best journalism produced in this country.

For starters, the first thing I have learned is how much good journalism still gets produced in this country, despite the shrinkage of news holes and news budgets. While we on the Board only get to see the best of the best – the three finalists in every category chosen by the different juries – more often than not I find myself wanting to give prizes to all three. It is often excruciatingly hard to choose. Our industry may not be so alive and well, but our craft certainly is.

As a Board member one not only gets to savor all this good journalism but to learn from its substance as well. In that regard, I have noticed a worrying trend. In recent years, but particularly this year, the finals included numerous stories about state and local governments, as well as the Federal government, being squeezed by budget cuts, and, as a result, either failing to do their jobs, or outsourcing them to private contractors, who, motivated more by profit than civic duty, often under-performed as well.

Here is a sample of what I mean from a few of our finalists and winners this year.

The Miami Herald offered a "sweeping, thorough, and meticulous investigation, over a year-long period, that uncovered abuses and lack of state oversight at Florida's once-acclaimed assisted living facilities. The Herald conducted hundreds of interviews and examined thousands of state inspections, police reports, and court cases. Through careful reconstruction of individual cases, it showed how some of Florida's most vulnerable citizens suffered grievous injury or death because of neglect and abuse, and how the state failed to shut down homes even after repeated violations."

The New York Times, through exhaustive reporting, "revealed rapes, beatings and more than 1,200 unexplained deaths in state-run facilities that aid 135,000 developmentally disabled citizens… They also found that New York taxpayers were paying far more for care than citizens in any other state, with some organizations handing top executives handsome salaries and questionable benefits."

The Chicago Tribune, using "old-fashioned investigative techniques… presented a clear and convincing indictment of a system that allowed criminals by the dozens to escape the consequences of their brutal acts by fleeing the country. Reporters did what law enforcement failed to do: they tracked down these violent fugitives, often living under their real names and interviewed many of them, along with families victimized by their crimes. The reporters also identified the law enforcement agencies, which through neglect or indifference, apparently forgot that crime without punishment is justice denied."

The Seattle Times whose "Methadone and the Politics of Pain" provided a compelling report on "how a little known government agency moved Medicaid patients from safer pain control medication to the more dangerous, but cheaper, methadone."

The Maine Advertiser-Democrat,which "exhibited extraordinary resourcefulness and tenacity in exposing a stunning failure by local, state and federal housing authorities to protect the most vulnerable members of their small, rural Maine community. With only a staff of three, the paper’s robust reporting and photography uncovered a blatant disregard for health and safety codes that prompted the state to launch an official investigation literally within four hours of publication of the first story."

The Associated Press on nuclear power plants for "clearly and dispassionately exposing how regulators have walked away from traditional standards of safety, even as nuclear facilities reaching or surpassing their life expectancy show troubling signs of leakage, decay and outright failure."

And, finally, California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting offered a "shocking discovery of deficiencies in the seismic safety of California's school buildings."

It is a truism that Americans of all political stripes want more government than they are willing to pay for, but I must say the effects are starting to show. We are leaving a period of 50 years when to be a president, a governor, a mayor or a college president, was, on balance, to give things away to people and we are entering a period – hopefully brief – in which to be a president, a governor, a mayor or a college president will be, on balance, to take things away from people. How intelligently we do that is going to determine a lot about the quality of life in our country. You can grow without a plan, but you better not cut without a plan. I suspect that a lot of what our news organizations will be covering in the next decade is how we cut things -- how intelligently we use our shrinking resources and what impact or failure to do so has on businesses, schools, jobs, families and the social fabric. In other words, we have a hugely important task waiting for us down the road.

Another thing I have noticed these past eight years is that the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post sure win a lot of Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting, and I am going to make a prediction: They are going to win a lot more, alas, because so many other news organizations have cut back on their foreign coverage.
I was in Amman, Jordan, two weeks ago and gave a talk at the Teachers College in Amman, where Columbia University also has an outpost. At the reception afterwards, a man came up to me, warmly shook my hand and asked, "Do recognize who I am?" I did not. He was Yousef Nazzal, the owner of the Commodore Hotel, the famous press hangout for the Beirut press corps for many years, culminating with the Israeli invasion of 1982. I was thinking about the Commodore in preparing these remarks. When I looked around the Commodore lobby there in the summer of 1982, I saw correspondents from the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as from the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Enquirer, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Associated Press, Newsday, United Press International, Reuters, AFP, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. Every major British, French, Italian and Spanish paper was also there, along with photographers from every agency. Some of those news organizations don’t exist anymore, and some have so long ago given up foreign reporting they don’t even remember they were in it.

The upside, of course, is that a huge number of websites and bloggers have emerged to tell their stories, and many of them are locals who are telling their own story to the world – bravely, intimately and with the perceptiveness that only an insider can offer. I, for one, have benefited enormously from these new voices, like Now Lebanon, for instance. But I don’t know how many Americans have the patience or energy to ferret them out. And so I cannot help but feel a certain melancholy and unease that at a time when the world has never been more interconnected, and therefore interdependent, American news organizations have fewer and fewer resources to cover the globe. We are going to have to find more creative and cost-efficient ways to visit the world on behalf of our readers – before the world visits us again, as it did on 9/11.

Finally, people often ask, and especially this year when the Board did not award a prize for fiction, what our debates and discussions are like. Without speaking about specific entries, let me try to lift the shroud just a bit. Being on this Board is like being in the best book club in the world. And yes, the debates do at times get heated. I will always savor the opportunity I had to watch Professors Henry Louis Gates of Harvard and David Kennedy of Stanford debating the merits of a particular book of history. Their back and forth was pay-per-view quality. At times it made you want to lean back, pop popcorn and just enjoy the show. I am always amazed in our discussions that one can be totally allied with one person on the merits of a particular book or piece of journalism and then their staunchest opponent on the next one. And I am equally amazed at how I can come in feeling one thing about a book or a series and be persuaded by another Board member’s original argument and insights about that work to vote the other way. It’s a strange mix: You have to walk in with both strong convictions and an open mind, because there are a lot of people smarter than you on any given subject.

Who wouldn’t pay attention to someone like Junot Diaz, a Pulitzer winner in fiction and now on our Board, incisively analyzing a novel, as only another fiction author can do, while he paces around our Board table, or lies flat on his aching back on the floor? It is like a great fiction class. Who cannot but be touched when our always soft-spoken fellow Board member Joyce Dehli reads aloud stanzas from her favorite poet to sway the Board to her side, before Danielle Allen, our Board member from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, deconstructs the same poem with her expert precision? I still miss Washington Post Publisher Don Graham’s passionate and baroque way of introducing any entry he liked or wanted to demolish. It was like watching a great lawyer opening a case. And I shall certainly miss the two women from the class before me who always sat next to each other – Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the Associated Press, and Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of the Nieman Foundation. You only need to be on the Board with the two them for one year, let alone eight, to say to yourself: "How could there have been a time when women were not top editors?"

Through it all, though, I can tell you that I have never witnessed an iota favoritism or bias toward any paper or author. People truly take their judging duties seriously – to be executed, if I may use a motto close to home, without fear or favor. Yes, at times, as happened this year with fiction, there is no winner. But do not assume that was because nothing was found worthy. We usually have 15 people voting. Entries often win by small margins, but sometimes seven people can feel very strongly about an entry and the eighth vote just is not there. Don’t take that as a sign of our failing or anyone else’s. Take it as a sign of how strongly people feel about what they are voting on and their commitment to be true to their judgments and our standards – without fear or favor. So for all these reasons and more I want to say what privilege it has been to serve on this Board. It’s a lot of work, but I wish I could have nine years more. Well, maybe three…

2012 Journalism Jurors leap to online judging system

 

After 95 years, the bulky scrapbook entries are gone. When 2012 Journalism Jurors gathered at Columbia University in February, they used -- for the first time -- a new online system to judge 1,113 entries and nominate three finalists in 14 categories. Here are pictures of the jurors at work.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


All entries this year were reviewed only on laptop computers and tablets.

Photos by 2012 Public Service Juror
Nancy Andrews

Gregory Moore and Thomas Friedman elected co-chairs of Pulitzer Prize Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu and 212-854-6164


New York, N.Y. (May 10, 2012) -- Gregory Moore, editor of The Denver Post, and Thomas L. Friedman, bestselling author and foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, have been elected co-chairs of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Both have served on the board since 2004. They replace co-chairs Jim Amoss, editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press; and Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Board members serve a maximum of nine years while a chair serves for only one year. The new co-chairs will share responsibilities over the course of the year.

Moore has been editor of The Post since coming to Denver in June 2002. He joined the newspaper after 16 years at The Boston Globe, the last eight as managing editor.

A Cleveland native, Moore graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1976 with a degree in journalism and political science. Later that year, he became a reporter for the Dayton (Ohio) Journal Herald and covered a number of beats, including city hall. In 1980, Moore returned to Cleveland, where he spent six years and covered county and city government before being named state political editor and then day city editor for the Plain Dealer.

The Boston Globe hired Moore in 1986 as a senior assistant city editor. He rose through the ranks, becoming city editor the following year, assistant managing editor for local news in 1989, deputy managing editor in 1991, and finally managing editor in 1994.

Under Moore’s editorship, The Post won Pulitzer Prizes for Feature Photography in 2010 and 2012 and for Editorial Cartooning in 2011. It also was a finalist for Breaking News Reporting in 2007, for its coverage of severe back-to-back blizzards, and for Investigative Reporting in 2007, for stories on the destruction of evidence in criminal cases.

In 1996, Moore was named Journalist of the Year by the New England Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He is a former board member of NABJ and of the American Society of News Editors and has taught at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the American Press Institute. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Moore is married to Nina Henderson Moore, an independent movie producer, and they have two daughters, Jasmine, 9, and Jaden, 8. He has a son, Michael Langston Moore, 28, from a previous marriage.

***

Thomas Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times.

A native of Minneapolis, he joined The Times in 1981. He served as the bureau chief in Beirut and Jerusalem and later as chief diplomatic correspondent, chief White House correspondent and chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau. He became the paper’s foreign affairs columnist in 1995.

For his coverage of the Middle East, Friedman was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting -- in 1983 for reporting from Lebanon and in 1988 for reporting from Israel. He was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his clarity of vision…in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.” In 2004, he was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title, Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II.

Friedman is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won both the National Book and the Overseas Press Club Awards in 1989. The Lexus and the Olive Tree, winner of the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11, issued in 2002, consists of columns Friedman published about September 11. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, issued in April 2005 and updated in 2006 and 2007, received the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award.

In 2008 he brought out Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America, which was published in a revised edition a year later. His sixth and most recent book, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, was released September 2011.

Friedman is a member of the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University. He served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2000 and 2005. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Brandeis University, Macalester College, Haverford University, the University of Minnesota, Williams College, Washington University in St. Louis, Hebrew Union College and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Friedman lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Ann, a first-grade reading teacher in the public school system in Montgomery County, Maryland. Their elder daughter, Orly, is also a public school teacher. Their younger daughter, Natalie, is finishing college.

Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, named to Pulitzer Prize Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu and 212-854-6164


New York, N.Y. (May 3, 2012) -- Stephen Engelberg, a veteran editor noted for his achievements in investigative journalism, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Engelberg has been managing editor of ProPublica, the online, non-profit investigative newsroom, since its inception in 2008. He oversees the organization’s day-to-day editorial operations, long-term projects and Web strategy. (Note: He will become editor-in-chief on Jan. 1, 2013.)

During his time as managing editor, ProPublica became the first online news organization to win Pulitzer Prizes. In 2010, it won the Investigative Reporting prize for chronicling the life-and-death decisions by a hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were isolated by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. A year later, it won the National Reporting prize for exposing Wall Street practices that contributed to the nation’s economic meltdown.

Before joining ProPublica, he worked for The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times and The Oregonian of Portland, Ore., where he was a managing editor. During his years at The Oregonian, the paper won the Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting and was a finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and on charities intended to help the disabled.

Engelberg was with The Times for 18 years, including stints in Washington, DC, and Warsaw, Poland, as well as in New York. After serving as the bureau chief in Warsaw following the collapse of Communism, he resumed work as an investigative reporter. Engelberg shared in two George Polk Awards for reporting: the first, in 1989, for articles on nuclear proliferation; the second, in 1994, for articles on U.S. immigration. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as a reporter in 1998 for an investigation of the crash of a commuter airplane.

Since 1996, Engelberg has concentrated on editing investigative projects. Engelberg was the first editor of The Times’ investigative unit and directed teams of reporters who won Pulitzer Prizes for national, foreign and explanatory journalism. Among the winning projects were ones that examined Mexican corruption (published in 1997) and the rise of Al Qaeda (published beginning in January 2001).

Engelberg is the co-author of Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War. He shared an Emmy in 2001 for work on a documentary on biological warfare by the PBS program Nova.

A native of Lexington, Mass., Engelberg graduated from Princeton University in 1979 with a degree in history. He lives in Montclair, N.J., with his wife, Gabrielle Glaser, and three daughters.

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The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading editors or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.

Welcome to all-digital entry site for journalism prizes

The Pulitzer Prizes for journalism have moved to an electronic entry system.

From now on, submissions on paper will not be accepted. Entries in all 14 journalism categories must be submitted electronically through our special entry site. Please click HERE to register and log in.

On the site you will find entry rules and step-by-step guidance on how to submit an entry.

For more details, please see the "How to enter" page where you will find the Plan of Award (pdf), journalism entry guidelines (with FAQ) (pdf) and technical requirements (pdf). You will also find examples of acceptable entries.

In another significant change, the Pulitzer Board has revised the definition for Local Reporting of Breaking News (pdf) by stressing real-time reporting of breaking events.

All the changes affect the 2012 competition, which covers work during calendar 2011.

Entry deadline: Jan. 25, 2012.

Entry fee: $50 per entry, must be paid by credit card.

Steven Hahn, American historian, and Robert Blau, an editor at Bloomberg News, join Pulitzer Board

Steven Hahn, a widely esteemed Pulitzer Prize-winning historian specializing in 19th century America, and Robert Blau, a managing editor at Bloomberg News noted for his commitment to investigative and narrative journalism, have been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Hahn, the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, has written extensively about the American South, African-American history and the international history of slavery, emancipation and race. In 2004, he won the Pulitzer Prize for history for A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration.

Blau is managing editor for projects and investigations at Bloomberg News, a global newsgathering organization. He served as managing editor of The Baltimore Sun from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune, supervising some of the paper’s most prominent work, which included a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for Explanatory Reporting.

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Pulitzer-winning journalists share their tips

Four reporters explained how their investigative work won 2011 Pulitzer Prizes during a seminar at Columbia’s Journalism School on Oct. 4. As is often the case, their stories were “hiding in plain sight,” waiting to be discovered and pursued. The panelists were Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives of the Los Angeles Times, who exposed astonishing corruption in a small California city; Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark, who reconstructed the death of six fishermen; and Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, who revealed how unsuspecting Floridians face hurricanes with flimsy insurance protection from shaky companies. Moderator was Walt Bodanich, New York Times, three-time Pulitzer winner.

Watch video of the event

Margaret Sullivan, editor of Buffalo News, joins Pulitzer Board

Margaret M. Sullivan, the editor of The Buffalo News and a proponent of investigative reporting and journalistic service to the community, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Rising through the ranks, Sullivan was named editor of The News in 1999, the first woman to hold that position in the newspaper’s 131-year history. Previously, she was the paper's first female managing editor.

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Pulitzer Prize luncheon honors 2011 winners


The 2011 Pulitzer Prizes in arts and journalism were presented May 23 at a luncheon on the Columbia University campus.

Pulitzer Board Co-Chairs Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the Associated Press, and Ann Marie Lipinski, curator-designate of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, addressed the crowd of more than 260.

Carroll paid tribute to past and present winners (text|video) while Lipinski spoke of the “meritocracy of excellence” that winners were joining (text|(video).

Also watch a slideshow of the 2011 Pulitzer luncheon and presentation ceremony in the majestic rotunda of Low Library.

Three journalism leaders elected to head Pulitzer Board

          


Three longtime leaders in American journalism have been elected co-chairs of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University has announced.

They are Jim Amoss, editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press; and Ann Marie Lipinski, the former editor of the Chicago Tribune and the curator-designate of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

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2011 Pulitzer Prize winners

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Nominated Finalists were announced on April 18. All 2011 Prizewinning work, plus bios and photos of winners, is available on this site.

The Prizes were awarded at a luncheon at Columbia University on May 23, 2011.

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2011 Journalism jurors at work

In this slideshow, catch glimpses of the hardworking 2011 Pulitzer Prize Jurors in Journalism.

Arriving from across the nation, 77 jurors gathered at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism on March 7, 8 and 9 of 2011 to judge 1,097 entries in the Journalism competition and nominate three finalists in 14 categories.

For more information on how the Pulitzer process works, read "The tough task of judging journalism's most glittering prize" by Cory Lancaster, managing editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

slideshow...

Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism move to all-digital entry system

For Immediate Release

Media contact:
Sig Gissler, 212-854-7327 or sg138@columbia.edu
Eric Sharfstein, 212-854-6164 or es3106@columbia.edu

New York, Nov. 30, 2011 -- The Pulitzer Prize Board is moving its journalism competition online and, beginning now, entries in its 14 journalism categories must be submitted electronically.

The change, announced today, will affect the 2012 competition, which covers work during calendar 2011.

The Board has also revised the definition for Local Reporting of Breaking News, one of its prize categories, by emphasizing real-time reporting of breaking news.

The new entry system ends the submission of entries on paper, typically in the form of a scrapbook, a practice dating to the start of the prizes 95 years ago. All entry material, ranging from stories to photographs, graphics and video, must now be submitted in a digital form through a special Pulitzer entry site.

Details on the change, along with revised rules and guidelines, will be available Dec. 7 on the Pulitzer Website. The deadline for entries is Jan. 25, 2012, a week earlier than in past years.

The new system will streamline the submission process for entries, which number about 1,100 a year, and will make it easier for Pulitzer journalism jurors and the Pulitzer Board to manage and judge the entries. Pulitzer juries nominate three finalists in each prize category. The winner, in turn, is chosen by the Board.

The Board continues to welcome a full range of journalistic tools – such as text articles, interactive graphics, blogs, databases, video and other forms of multimedia – in 12 of its 14 categories. The two photography categories remain restricted to still images, which must be submitted as digital files.

The revised definition for Breaking News focuses on reporting that, "as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates, provides context, and expands upon the initial coverage."

In an example intended to underline the importance of real-time reporting, the Board said that it would be disappointing if an event occurred at 8 a.m. and the first item in an entry was drawn from the next day’s newspaper.

The Board also suggested that entrants provide a timeline, in its cover letter or in supplemental material, detailing the chronology of events in a breaking story and how it relates to the timing of items that comprise the entry.

In all Pulitzer categories, entries must be based on material coming from a United States newspaper or news site that publishes at least weekly and adheres to the highest journalistic principles. Magazines and broadcast media, and their respective websites, are not eligible.

The new electronic system for journalism, which includes credit card payment of the $50 entry fee, does not apply to entries in the book, drama or music prize categories.


The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

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Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the forms and guidelines. Click the icon for downloading instructions.

OVERVIEW OF AWARDS

The Pulitzer Prize Plan of Award (pdf)
Complete guidelines and rules for submitting Pulitzer Prize entries.
Also includes Pulitzer Prize Board members and definitions of all 21 categories.
(updated 11/30/2011)


Letters, Drama, and Music Entries

Letters (books), Drama and Music Entry Form (pdf)

The entry form for Letters, Drama and Music can be filled out online and then printed. Or you can print it as is and then fill it out by hand.

(updated 4/26/2011)


Letters (books) Guidelines (pdf)

Deadline: 10/1/2011

Submission deadlines and requirements for the prizes in Letters.

(updated 6/22/2011)


Drama Guidelines (pdf)

Deadline: 12/31/2011

Submission deadlines and requirements for the prize in Drama.

(updated 4/26/2011)


Music Guidelines (pdf)

Deadline: 12/31/2011

Submission deadlines and requirements for the prize in Music.

(updated 10/27/2011)


Letter to the Music Community (pdf)

(updated 12/2/2011)



Journalism Entries

Online entry site

Entries must be submitted online.
Entries on paper are no longer accepted.
Payment of $50 entry fee is by credit card only.

Deadline: 1/25/2012

 

Journalism guidelines/FAQ (pdf)
Detailed explanation of the rules

Technical requirements (pdf)
Details on PDFs, video and other elements


Examples of acceptable pdfs:

One column format: Washington Post
Two column format: Associated Press

Adapted from entries last year, the examples illustrate readability. The Washington Post example also demonstrates how the original play of the story can be shown before it is reformatted into a one-column-wide PDF.

 

Examples of online elements from winning entries

 

Press release: Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism move to all-digital entry system.

 

(updated 12/7/2011)

Steven Hahn, American historian, and Robert Blau, an editor at Bloomberg News, join Pulitzer Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu and 212-854-6164


New York, NY (Oct. 26, 2011) -- Steven Hahn, a widely esteemed Pulitzer Prize-winning historian specializing in 19th century America, and Robert Blau, a managing editor at Bloomberg News noted for his commitment to investigative and narrative journalism, have been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Hahn, the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, has written extensively about the American South, African-American history and the international history of slavery, emancipation and race. In 2004, he won the Pulitzer Prize for history for A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration. The book also received the Bancroft Prize (best book in American history), and the Merle Curti Prize in Social History given by the Organization of American Historians.

Blau is managing editor for projects and investigations at Bloomberg News, a global newsgathering organization. He served as managing editor of The Baltimore Sun from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune, supervising some of the paper’s most prominent work, which included a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for Explanatory Reporting.

***

Hahn’s historical work has taken many forms. His other books include The Roots of Southern Populism (1983), The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation (1985) and, most recently, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (2009). He is also co-editor of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation (2009). Currently, he is writing a book for the Penguin/Viking History of the United States series entitled, A Nation without Borders: The United States and Its World, 1830-1900, as well as a textbook for Bedford-St. Martin’s Press, Colonies, Nations, Empires: A History of the United States and the People Who Made It.

Hahn’s articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Past and Present, the Journal of Southern History, and the Journal of American History, as well as in The New Republic, Dissent, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Through the years, Hahn’s scholarship has often been recognized with major awards. In 1984, The Roots of Southern Populism received the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award of the Organization of American Historians (best first book in American history). In 1991, his article, "Class and State in Post-emancipation Societies," in the American Historical Review, received the ABC-Clio History and Life Award for the best essay in the journal literature. He is also the recipient of numerous fellowships, including ones from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He is an elected member of the Society of American Historians.

Hahn received his Ph.D. from Yale University (1979) and has also taught at the University of Delaware, the University of California at San Diego, and Northwestern University. He has delivered keynote addresses at many scholarly conferences and university events and has been appointed Pitt Professor at Cambridge University, Lawrence Stone Visiting Professor at Princeton University, and the Nathan I. Huggins Lecturer at Harvard University. His teaching has been recognized with major awards at the University of California at San Diego, Northwestern, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Hahn has been an expert witness on behalf of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and for the past three decades, he has been actively involved in promoting the teaching of history in the public schools in cooperation with the American Council of Learned Societies, the California History Project, and the Gilder Lehrman Foundation. For two years in Chicago he worked with the Odyssey Program, making college-level courses available to interested, though economically disadvantaged, adults.

Hahn lives in Bryn Mawr, Penn., and has two children, Declan, 17, and Saoirse, 14.

***

Robert Blau has carved an eclectic path up the journalistic ranks. After a stint as a freelancer writing about music, he was hired in 1985 by the Chicago Tribune, where his first job was reviewing the movies that Gene Siskel, the paper’s famed critic, didn’t want to. He moved on to the crime beat, capturing the experience in a memoir, The Cop Shop. Later, as an investigative reporter, he covered everything from mobsters in Chicago to the plight of impoverished children in Cambodia. A series he designed on population issues, "Gambling with Life," including his portrait of a Chicago mother of 13 children, won the Overseas Press Club award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His inaugural editing job was reinventing the paper’s opinion section as a home for first-person narrative, from an account of one family's alcoholism to Saul Bellow’s reconstruction of the Democratic conventions of his youth.

Following a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 1997, Blau assembled the Tribune’s projects team, which produced a burst of outstanding work. The team’s body of work on the criminal-justice system was largely responsible for the moratorium on capital punishment in Illinois, won numerous national awards and sparked similar investigations across the country. "Gateway to Gridlock," about the failures of the airline industry, was awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Another multi-part narrative traced the fatal trajectory of a single pane of glass that fell from a Chicago skyscraper. And a project portrayed the final days of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Each was a Pulitzer finalist.

While Blau served as managing editor of The Baltimore Sun, the paper produced a steady stream of investigative work, collecting dozens of honors including the George Polk Award, the Meyer Berger Award, the Loeb Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Prize. An investigation into Baltimore’s system of "ground rent" was a Pulitzer finalist in Local Reporting.

Blau also reorganized the Sun newsroom for the Internet and helped establish a Web-first newsgathering operation.

Blau joined Bloomberg News in 2008, and has helped lead its push into global public-service journalism. Its investigations have forced unprecedented transparency from the Federal Reserve, documented the unanticipated ripples of the Lehman Brothers collapse, explored the human cost of the gold-mining industry and tallied the economic and emotional price of end-of-life health care.

Blau, a native of New York City, received his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany, where he studied literature and journalism with novelist William Kennedy. He earned his master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1985. He was a Pulitzer juror in 2010 on the Investigative Reporting jury, and chaired the Public Service jury’s deliberations in 2011.

Blau is married to Leah Eskin, a food columnist. They have two children, Hannah and Noah. The family lives in Baltimore.

------------------------------------------------

The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 20-member board is composed mainly of leading editors or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.

Pulitzer-winning journalists share their tips



listen to audio only



Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times

Gottlieb is a senior writer and Vives is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. They were lead reporters in exposure of corruption in the California city of Bell that resulted in the Times winning the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Their work was also honored by the George Polk Award, the Investigative Reporters Editors top prize, the Selden Ring Award, the American Society of News Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting, the Associated Press Managing Editors Award for Public Service and the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2011 Public Service Award.

Gottlieb has been a reporter and editor at The Times for 14 years and before that at the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Riverside Press Enterprise and Sports Illustrated. While at the Mercury News, he received his first George Polk Award for his reporting on Stanford University’s questionable spending of federal research funds, leading to the resignation of Stanford’s president and congressional hearings. Gottlieb was a member of the Mercury News staff that received the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1989 earthquake.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He also received the National Press Foundation’s Spanish Language Fellowship. He is married and father of a 3-year-old son who helped him get an early start each morning while writing about Bell.

Vives got his start at the Times as a copy messenger and has worked his way upward. He served as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients when the Times won the 2005 Pulitzer for Public Service by revealing deadly practices at a major public hospital. Vives began his reporting career three years ago by writing for the Times’ Homicide Report. Vives later became a general assignment reporter, covering a dozen cities in southeast Los Angeles County. Exposure of the scandal in the city of Bell resulted in the arrests of eight former city officials.

* * *

Amy Ellis Nutt, The Star-Ledger

Nutt is an enterprise writer at The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., where she has worked for the past 14 years. This year she won a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for her series, “The Wreck of the Lady Mary,” and in 2009 was a finalist in the same category. In 2004-2005 Nutt was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She graduated from Smith College and has two masters degrees, one in philosophy from M.I.T., the other from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she is now a member of the adjunct faculty. In April Nutt published her first book, “Shadows Bright as Glass: One Man’s Remarkable Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph.” She lives in Watchung, N.J.

* * *

Paige St. John, Sarasota-Herald Tribune

St. John joined the Sarasota-Herald Tribune in 2008 as an investigative reporter. She has been a working journalist for more than three decades, covering Florida politics, the environment and natural disasters. Her prior posts include statehouse bureau chief for Gannett News Service, environment reporter for The Detroit News, and a wide range of writing beats for the Associated Press in Michigan and West Virginia.

A product of what was once the nation’s smallest accredited journalism program (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville), St. John continues the school’s tradition of multi-faceted journalism. Starting out as a roving feature reporter, she now specializes in database-driven projects, graphics and web sites, narrative writing and investigative journalism.

In 2011 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for her work on Florida’s property insurance system, the William Brewster Styles Award from Scripps Howard and seven other national or regional writing awards, including the Clarion, National Headliner and Green Eyeshade. Past notable projects have exposed Florida’s failure to protect fragile beaches, the state’s notoriously botched electoral system, failure of medical device manufacturers and their federal regulators to recognize the high cost of human error, and widespread ethnic fraud within the nation’s higher education system.

She lives with her daughter and husband, a fellow journalist, on a small farm in Florida. They enjoy travel, horseback riding and kayaking.

* * *

Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times

Bogdanich is the Pulitzer-Prize winning assistant editor for The New York Times Investigations Desk. Before joining The Times in 2001, he was an investigative producer for “60 Minutes” on CBS and before that for ABC News. Previously, he worked as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. Bogdanich graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975 with a degree in political science. He received his master’s in journalism from Ohio State University in 1976. Bogdanich has been awarded three Pulitzer Prizes. In 2008, he shared the award in investigative reporting with Jake Hooker for “Toxic Pipeline,” articles exposing toxic ingredients in Chinese-made products. In 2005, he won in national reporting for his series, “Death on the Tracks.” He received the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for his articles in The Wall Street Journal on substandard medical laboratories. He has also won four George Polk Awards.

Margaret Sullivan, editor of Buffalo News, joins Pulitzer Prize Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Clare Oh, clare.oh@columbia.edu and 212-854-5479


New York, NY (June 21, 2011) -- Margaret M. Sullivan, the editor of The Buffalo News and a proponent of investigative reporting and journalistic service to the community, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Rising through the ranks, Sullivan was named editor of The News in 1999, the first woman to hold that position in the newspaper’s 131-year history. Previously, she was the paper's first female managing editor.

In 2001, Sullivan was given the additional title of vice president, another first for a woman at The News.

As editor, Sullivan established The News' first investigative team, helped develop Western New York's leading Website, BuffaloNews.com, and has emphasized local enterprise reporting.

Under her leadership, The News has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association for the last seven years with its award for Distinguished Community Service.

The most recent award was for a four-part series on airline safety – "Who's Flying Your Airplane?" – produced in the aftermath of the Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash that took 50 lives in February 2009. The series shed light on flaws in pilot training and inadequate rules regarding pilot fatigue, helping lead to federal aviation reforms.

For coverage of the crash and a range of other work, the New York State Associated Press Association in 2009 honored The News as the state's Newspaper of Distinction in the largest circulation category.

Sullivan has served four times as a Pulitzer Prize juror, and in 2006 chaired the jury for Commentary. She is a director of the American Society of News Editors and has chaired its First Amendment committee.

A native of Lackawanna, N.Y., Sullivan is a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she is a member of its Hall of Achievement.

After an internship at The News in 1980, she joined the staff. Her career has included assignments as a reporter on business and government, metro columnist, assistant city editor, and assistant managing editor for features.

Nationally, Sullivan's recent writings include an essay in the anthology "The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press."

Internationally, her travels have included six weeks in India, where her meeting with Mother Teresa, she says, left an indelible impression. One of her goals is to visit all the continents. Still to go: Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

Sullivan serves on the board of trustees at Nardin Academy, her alma mater, where she is a member of its Hall of Fame. In 2007, she was inducted into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame.

Her son is a second-year law student at Harvard, and her daughter is a sophomore at NYU.

Sullivan teaches media writing at Buffalo State College, and enjoys tennis and yoga.

Ann Marie Lipinski remarks

Pulitzer Awards Ceremony
Monday, May 23, 2011
Columbia University

Some years ago, following the death of my beloved maternal grandmother, I spent an afternoon reading her diaries. This was no breach. For as long as I could remember, my grandmother’s diary lay open upon her dining room table, as accessible to a visitor as her daily newspaper. In it she recorded the brief, essential facts of her day, in the precise order of their occurrence and without favor. She had a knack for holding the extraordinary in equal measure to the everyday—news of my brother’s birth paired comfortably with a grocery trip to the A&P.

Today’s gathering puts me in mind of one such entry. I do not think she would mind if I read it to you.

“March 31, 1988: 88 (degrees). Had a tint and a hairdo, also had eye brows plucked. Great news from Helen! Ann Marie called—she won a pulitzer prize. We’re very happy for her.”

I do not know what any of you were doing when word of your Pulitzer reached you, but I’m guessing that the news turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary one, and forever sealed your membership in what former Pulitzer Board chairman Skip Gates called the “aristocracy of excellence.” In Columbia’s annual printing of a soft cover compendium titled, simply, “The Pulitzer Prizes,” your names now join the ranks of other giants of journalism, letters, and music, American nobility including Robert Frost, August Wilson, Eudora Welty, Mike Royko, Samuel Barber, and Katherine Graham.

But these are not ranks into which you are born, nor does stature or wealth add a thumb to the Pulitzer scale. Were I to quibble with Skip, a privilege I enjoyed while we served on the board together, I would wonder whether “meritocracy of excellence” was more apt, recognition of the extraordinary industry and creativity which earned you a place at this ceremony.

Prize-giving is a fickle business, not determined by the precision of a stopwatch or scoreboard. The winners gathered here are the beneficiaries of the judgment of 19 arbiters, scrupulous and exacting judges to be sure, but human and guided by their own tastes and fancies. But that is not the same as arbitrary. There are qualities that endure, historic hallmarks of Pulitzer-worthy work that the board holds ever tightly even while expanding the eligibility rules. It was those qualities that distinguished the winners, whether traditional or multi-media, and that the board found abundant in your work.

Read the stories of government officials engorged on enormous pay packages or the medical mystery of a young boy racing against disease and renew your admiration for journalism that is probing and moral. Travel to Russia for a master class in foreign correspondence and criminal justice reporting and rediscover the meaning of dogged, both in print and online. Behold feature writing as forensics, an exacting reexamination of forgotten fatalities at sea animated by a playwright’s sense of timing. Meet anew the nation’s first president, and be reminded of how the familiar can be transporting in the hands of a biographer fortified by insight and scholarship. Stand in awe of a novelist’s meticulous braiding of lives across the wreckage of time and marvel at a skill that, in one chapter, renders even PowerPoint as literature.

In another moment President Bollinger will award you the tangible evidence of your prize and with that I offer but two more thoughts. Not long after I hung the Pulitzer certificate as evidence of my fortune, I came home to find my husband had placed into the frame a competing commemorative notice—a form letter from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office congratulating me on my safe driving record. If you are lucky, as I was, there are people in your life to keep you humble. Those are likely people who made some sacrifice in support of your work, and to those spouses, children, friends and colleagues, we offer our very deep gratitude.

Lastly, the late Howard Simons, former Nieman curator and managing editor of the Washington Post, used to warn Pulitzer winners against playing out their careers trying to repeat their grand slam with every at bat (advice, by the way, clearly ignored by photographer Carol Guzy of the Post, who today is awarded her fourth Pulitzer, a record for a journalist). While it was the clear intent of Joseph Pulitzer that the prize be a beacon offering both model and reward, it is also true that lots of great work goes unrewarded. An author I know recently admired a book as the one that he most wished he had written. It’s one of my favorites too and was a finalist for a Pulitzer but did not win, a fact that has never tarnished the book’s luster.

It did achieve the only thing that is in the creator’s control, what Amanda Bennett, the recent past co-chair of the board, holds as the standard for her reporters: producing journalism that may or may not win Pulitzers, but is worthy of Pulitzers.

Who can write again the script that got them here? It would be lovely to see you back in the Lowe Library some spring, but joyous still to read more of the kind of work that got you here today. For that is hard enough and the true legacy of Pulitzer.

Kay Ryan, our poetry winner, wrote a poem called “The Job.” It says:
Imagine that
the job were
so delicate
that you could
seldom—almost
never—remember
it. Impossible
work, really.
Like placing
pebbles exactly
where they were
already. The
steadiness it
takes . . . and
to what end?
It’s so easy
to forget again.

On behalf of the members of the Pulitzer Board, and with great personal admiration, I congratulate you all on work so very well done.
Thank you.

Video of 2011 luncheon remarks

Pulitzer Board Co-Chair Kathleen Carroll's remarks from
the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Luncheon, May 23, 2011.
(117 megabytes / 8 minutes).


Pulitzer Board Co-Chair Ann Marie Lipinski's remarks
from the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Luncheon, May 23, 2011.
(139 megabytes / 7.5 minutes).


Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's remarks
before the presentation of the 2011 Prizes.
(46 megabytes / 2.5 minutes)


Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's presentation of
the 2011 Prizes at the Pulitzer Luncheon, May 23, 2011.
President Bollinger is assisted by Sig Gissler,
Pulitzer Prize Administrator.
(489 megabytes / 21 minutes).


Kathleen Carroll remarks

Pulitzer Awards Ceremony
Monday, May 23, 2011
Columbia University

What an incredible pleasure it is to be with all of you on this glorious day of celebration. And on behalf of the Pulitzer Prize Board, let me offer you the warmest congratulations on your achievements.

The Pulitzer Prize has been around a while _ the first ones were awarded in 1917 _ and a few traditions have grown up over the years.

One is this lovely luncheon under the Rotunda of the Low Memorial Library. Here, glasses clink, hugs are exchanged and everyone is enveloped in a warm fuzzy glow.

About that glow. You might go easy on the bubbly until after you have to navigate the steps to the stage and have your photo snapped with President Bollinger.

Those photos, you know, will live on the Pulitzer web site forever.

Second, and perhaps you’ve already noticed this, a Pulitzer Prize coming with naming rights. From this day forward you will no longer be Joe Smith and Jane Brown. You will be Pulitzer-Prize winner Joe Smith and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Jane Brown.

And once you’ve attained that hyphenated state, you’ll be asked to give back; participating in a Pulitzer seminar or perhaps serving on one of the hardworking juries that vet the hundreds of entries submitted each year for consideration.

The arts jurors work for the better part of the year, reading hundreds of books, listening to hours of music and watching dozens of new theater works.

They collaborate, sometimes vigorously but always collegially, to identify the three best works in each of the categories _ fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, poetry, drama and music.

The journalism jurors gather here at Columbia each spring for three very long days to pore over hundreds of journalism entries in local, national, international, explanatory, investigative and breaking news reporting, in feature writing, commentary, criticism, editorial writing, cartooning, feature photography, news photography and Public Service, the only prize that always goes to an entire news organization rather than individuals.

Those juries also put forward three finalists in each category.

That collection of finalists then goes to the Pulitzer board members who spend several months reading and contemplating the work until we get together in April to discuss and vote on the winners.

For each of us fortunate enough to serve on the board, those two days are a joy, filled with thoughtful and reflective discussion of amazing journalistic and artistic work.

Those Pulitzer categories are not static. They have changed many times over the years and they will undoubtedly evolve more in the years to come.

But whatever the category, the work always captures one thing ... the sloppy, elegant, tragic, heroic mess of human existence.

Looking back over 94 years of Pulitzers, you can see how news events move off the front page and into the hard covers of books. They seep into plays and poems as we struggle to make sense of the acts of nature and the actions of man.

Year after year, journalism prizes are awarded for the coverage of death. The earth heaves and hundreds of thousands die. Deep inside a young mother, cells go haywire and disease takes her. Young men die fighting over land, ideals or even insults.

From this news coverage, we learn.

Then artists come along and bring us a new understanding. Death becomes an excruciating examination of loss in a play like "Rabbit Hole," in the poems of "Late Wife" and in fiction like "The Road."

In the past decade, awards have gone to the riveting photographs of war; devastation in the battlefield and on the home front. We have read about the soldiers and the ordinary people upon whose land they fight and we learned about once-secret policies invoked to staunch acts of terror. Winning books like "Ghost Wars" and “The Looming Tower,” examine the seeds of those conflicts and writers and artists will surely continue that examination for years to come.

Our evolving and imperfect views about race also permeate the work.

Slavery and the Civil War predate the prize but over and over, we strive for greater understanding of them with new research or fresh views in histories like "The Dred Scott Case" and "A Nation Under Our Feet," or the fictional story of a black family that comes apart when one member takes slaves in “A Known World.”

And Wynton Marsalis, squeezing the sound of pain through his trumpet in “Blood on the Fields,” his oratorio on slavery, gives us yet another way to learn.

In the 1920s, newspapers repeatedly won the prize for exposing or standing up to the insidious Klan. Eight decades later, the non-fiction work "The Race Beat," would explore how newspapers did, and did not, cover the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Photographs from the era sear the images for us: James Meredith felled by shotgun blasts on a Mississippi road, back arched, his mouth howling in pain.

Journalists say they don’t like to repeat ideas but thankfully biographers and historians understand the need to examine events and people anew.

A biography of Andrew Jackson won the prize in 2009; so did one penned in 1938. Theodore Roosevelt was the subject of winning work in 1932 and 1980, his cousin FDR in 1949 and 1972.

Abraham Lincoln appears frequently, including this year, and may be central to winning work in the greatest number of categories; history, non-fiction and with the 1939 work “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” in drama.

Those of us who work in non-fiction fields occasionally look with envy at the crafters of fiction, poetry, drama and music. We think “How lucky to be able to shape reality yourself...” knowing, of course, that creation is much harder when you don’t have all the characters and their actions handed to you.

The very best of those works can sometimes exposure reality more clearly than real life itself.

There is a scene in this year’s fiction winner, “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” in which two characters sitting at a table give up talking with each other and finish the conversation by typing at each other on their devices.

Anyone who has ever announced that dinner was ready by texting family members who are simply in another part of the house know that fictional scene is as real as it gets.

So let me close with one more small bit of advice: Enjoy this day.

Luxuriate in this celebration and savor all the people who are here, sharing it with you.

The work begins again soon enough, so for now, have a marvelous time.

And now, enjoy your lunch and as you wrap up dessert, Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler will be back to resume the rest of the program.

Thank you and good afternoon.

2011 Pulitzer jurors at work

 

Arriving from across the nation, 77 jurors gathered at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism on March 7, 8 and 9 of 2011 to judge 1,097 entries in the Journalism competition and nominate three finalists in 14 categories. Here are glimpses of the jurors at work.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


 

Judging gets underway in the historic World Room.

Photos by 2011 Photography Jurors
Nancy Andrews, Colin Crawford and Richard Murphy

Pulitzer Prize Board announces changes for 2011 journalism competition

Media contact:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu or 212-854-7327
Clare Oh, clare.oh@columbia.edu or 212-854-5479


New York, NY (Dec. 8, 2010) -- The Pulitzer Prize Board today announced several changes to the journalism contest rules for 2011, spelling out the board’s interest in seeing entries in all the journalistic formats that news organizations use to generate impactful work.

The changes recognize the growing importance of visual storytelling using video and other multimedia formats and the board’s ongoing intention to honor the best journalism from eligible news organizations, regardless of format.

Newspapers and online-only news sites that publish at least weekly are eligible. Magazines and broadcast media, and their respective Web sites, remain ineligible.

In the first change, the rules for 12 of the 14 categories now state explicitly that entries may use any available journalistic tool, including text reporting, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or any combination of those formats. The rules did not change for the two photography categories, which are restricted to still images.

In the 94 years since the prize was created, text -- and particularly ink-on-newsprint -- was the primary way newspapers delivered information. So the prizes have primarily gone to printed journalistic work.

As newspapers and other eligible news organizations increasingly use other methods to tell stories and reach readers, the Pulitzer Board has several times revised the rules so the contest evolves with the profession. For example, it has opened the doors beyond newspapers to online news organizations and opened all but the photography categories to work in multiple formats.

The change announced today places the emphasis on journalistic excellence across all formats and makes clear that submitting news organizations should enter work as their readers saw it -- if multimedia and visual elements were primary pieces of the work as published, they should be primary pieces of the Pulitzer entries.

Prize administrators also are doing several things to ensure the visual and multimedia work is viewed equally by jurors evaluating entries. For example: Those jurors will be asked to bring their laptops to the judging in March so they can more easily view multimedia and visual elements as they were seen originally by readers.

A second rule was changed to help encourage the broadest possible entries -- the number of individual names on a team entry was increased from three to five. The new language specifically says that the individuals named should be the strongest contributors to the work, “whether they are text reporters, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, producers or journalists who have worked in more than one format.”

If the work involves equal or near-equal contributions of more than five individuals, it should be submitted as an entry in the name of the submitting news organization.

A final change will make it easier for organizations to enter the two still photography categories. The board now requires that photographs be submitted electronically in the Breaking News and Feature photography categories, eliminating the requirement that organizations submit printed photos. Few eligible news organizations print photos on paper today; the images are chosen, edited, shared and often displayed digitally.

Eliminating the need for costly printing makes it easier for news organizations to enter the photo categories and is consistent with the practices of other major photo prizes.

"These changes help ensure that in the multimedia age, the Pulitzer Prizes will continue to recognize the very best journalism in all formats,” said Pulitzer Board Co-Chairs David M. Kennedy and Amanda Bennett.

Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and Bennett is Executive Editor/Enterprise for Bloomberg News.

The deadline for journalism entries is Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.

# # #

About Columbia University
A leading academic and research university, Columbia continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia's extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. For more information, visit www.columbia.edu.

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist, joins Pulitzer Prize Board

New York, NY (Dec.2, 2010) – Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and associate editor at The Washington Post, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

A 30-year veteran of the Post, Robinson launched his twice-weekly column on the paper’s op-ed page in February 2005, and within a year it was syndicated to more than 130 newspapers – making it the fastest-growing column in the history of the Washington Post Writers Group.

In 2009, he won The Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his columns about the 2008 presidential campaign and the election of President Barack Obama.

Robinson’s essays on politics, culture and events have helped shape the debate on issues such as the war in Iraq, the limits of presidential power and the rebuilding of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. He is a regular commentator on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and also appears frequently on MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets.

Robinson was born and raised in Orangeburg, S.C., graduating from Orangeburg High School, where he was one of a handful of black students on the previously all-white campus. He attended the University of Michigan, where during his senior year he was the first black student to be named co-editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.

Robinson began his journalism career at the San Francisco Chronicle, covering such stories as the trial of kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. He joined The Washington Post in 1980 as city hall reporter, covering the first term of Marion Barry, Washington’s controversial mayor. He became an assistant city editor in 1981, and in 1984 was promoted to city editor, in charge of the paper’s coverage of the District of Columbia. During the 1987-88 academic year, Robinson was a Neiman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, where he studied Latin American history and politics and the Spanish language.

On his return to the paper he was named the Post’s South America correspondent, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a post he held from 1988 to 1992. Subsequently he was London bureau chief from 1992 to 1994, before returning to Washington to become the paper’s foreign editor.

In January 1999, Robinson became an assistant managing editor, in charge of the Style section, which during his tenure won two Pulitzer Prizes and two Missouri Lifestyle Awards as the best newspaper feature section in the nation. His appointment as associate editor and columnist became effective January 1, 2005.

In January 2008, Robinson became a political analyst and commentator for MSNBC. He appears several times a week on MSNBC shows including “Hardball” and “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” He also was a regular contributor to the network’s coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The recipient of numerous journalism awards, Robinson is on the board of the International Women's Media Foundation and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is the author of three books: Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race (Free Press, 1999); Last Dance in Havana (Free Press, 2004) and Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America (Doubleday, 2010).

Robinson is married, has two sons, and lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Examples of online elements from winning entries

2007

Los Angeles Times, videos, Altered Oceans

The Oregonian, video, Tragic Journey


2008

The Washington Post, audio slideshow, The Invisibly Wounded


2009

Politifact sample page (pdf)

Las Vegas Sun, video, Construction deaths: Cost of expansion


2010

from The New York Times series on distracted driving:


from The Seattle Times coverage of the shooting of four police officers:


The New York Times, video, Pot Pie Confidential

Mark Fiore, animated cartoons


2011

ProPublica, cartoons, Welcome to CDO World!


from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel series on genetic technology:


2012

from The Tuscaloos News tornado coverage:


The Seattle Times, Web entry Methadone's toll higher in poorer areas


2013

from The Denver Post Aurora theatre shootings:


The New York Times, interactive feature story Snow Fall

2010 Pulitzer Prize luncheon remarks - Amanda Bennett

Low Library, Columbia University – May 24, 2010


Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett

Executive Editor/Projects and Investigations, Bloomberg News

Co-chair, The Pulitzer Prize Board



Thank you, David, and not the least for inadvertently giving me the title to my talk, which is "More Wit Than Erudition," except that I'm not sure about the wit part.

I'm Amanda Bennett, executive editor of Bloomberg News and as David has said, co-chair along with him of The Board.

I'm afraid that the first part of the narrative line of excellence that David has just laid out has suffered a bit in recent years. There is a story line out there, and I know you've all heard it – because I've heard it – that the quality of journalism has irretrievably suffered and fallen. That only the best, the biggest, the richest papers can do great journalism – and that even for them it is a struggle, which means that the inevitable result is the decline in the standards of excellence that this Prize has rewarded for 94 years.

It’s a story line that the industry has labored under for almost the whole of my eight-year tenure on the Board. Following David's example, I went back into some recent history, and as I reviewed the previous speeches of Pulitzer Board Chairs, I had to go all the way back to the one delivered by the late William Safire in 2003 before I found one that did not speak about the trials facing the news industry, and instead focused exclusively on journalistic themes – his theme, by the way, was “Trust” which he called “Topic A”.

Now I've got no intention of minimizing the difficulties of the past few years. and I would venture to say that there isn’t a journalist in the room – and I would include all the families and friends present – who don’t bear something of the scars of the last five years.

Yet in this year in particular, we on The Pulitzer Board saw very, very little – despite all the hardship in the industry – to back up the idea that great journalism is a dying art. In fact, we found very much to support another and much richer story – one that is making us as a board pleased and happy – and so proud – of you.

And that is the story of One. How great journalism at papers and news organizations big and small, print and electronic, in words and in photos, still come down to the decisions, and the actions, and the passion of one person: one reporter, one editor, one photographer, one cartoonist.
Let's consider for a moment the Public Service Pulitzer – in many ways it's the iconic Pulitzer. Always awarded to a publication, never to an individual, the gold medal has become the de facto symbol of the Prize itself. Well, in this case the publication is the rural Bristol Herald Courier, which we will soon recognize for its work in helping landowners recover natural gas royalties owed to them.

This was the work of one person – 28-year-old Daniel Gilbert, who saw something he didn’t understand and kept picking at it until he did. Behind him, was another one person – his editor Todd Foster, who saw the potential in the story that others had ignored… and behind them the six other individuals on the staff who picked up the work and kept the paper going. (Now at this point I was gong to say "without complaint," but I know newsrooms too well to go that far out on a limb…)

Meanwhile, you could hardly say there was a news organization more beset with distractions this year than the one in Philadelphia – yet Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker were out on the street, interviewing families, interviewing cops, busting a rogue narcotics squad that had victimized the city. Big time investigative reporting – two single individuals. One large impact.

And the breathtaking photo by Mary Chind of the Des Moines Register of a harnessed rescuer reaching out his hand to a woman submerged in a swirling eddy beneath a dam. One photographer. One moment. One iconic image.

The same is true for all the journalism and all the news organizations, big and small. Whether it's a tainted hamburger, or a parent's tragic error, or the economic divide of what should be one community. It all eventually boils down to individuals. Individuals seeing a story, recognizing the story, becoming passionate about the story.

Even in the stories that traditionally take lots of people, lots of coordination – like The Seattle Times coverage of the 40-hour hunt for a man who killed four cops – you peel back the cover of that, and you'll find the story of one – of one editor who said we could do it, of one editing staff who said we know how, and one reporter, one photographer over and over again who said it was worth it.

These journalistic skills are portable. Sheri Fink started her story of life and death decisions in New Orleans at The New York Times, took it with her to ProPublica, and published it in both places. One person. One story. Big impact. Such collaborations were nonexistent when I joined the Pulitzer Board in 2002.

In 2007 then chairman Mike Pride announced with pride that animated cartoons were among the finalists for the first time in 2007. This year, we have a winner. It's self-syndicated Mark Fiore for work appearing on SF.gate, the San Francisco Chronicle Web site. One person. One vision.

You are all here because you are ONE. And behind you is another ONE.

Now in the peculiar iconography of Pulitzer watching, you might take away from this a strange and distorted message -- that you should only apply for thins with one byline, or that only small papers should apply, or that only animated cartoons will win from now on, or that only online submissions or only joint ventures.

You know what, nothing could be further from the truth.

Instead the message you should take away is that what the Pulitzer honors is excellence in journalism. And that those journalistic values -- objectivity, deep digging, great writing, exposing secrets, telling stories and searching for truth, still lives and thrives even in the middle of chaos, and in fact is transforming in wonderful ways that we can't even begin to predict.

And that as journalists move from one paper to another, from paper to online, to hybrid endeavors, they are taking those skills and values with them. they are producing excellent and creative work, work which I believe hasn't even come close to showing its full potential yet.

So, go back and tell you friends in your newsrooms why you are here: because you saw a story or a photo or an opportunity to inform or lampoon; because yo believed in it and followed it and that any one person can do that too, no matter where they are.

And tell them to do the same and to inspire other people to do the same, and to go on producing journalism that doesn't just win Pulitzers, but that is worthy of Pulitzers.

_____

Now I'd like to introduce Lee Bollinger, who besides being a fantastic Pulitzer Board colleague and president of Columbia University is also a noted first amendment scholar who teaches a course on the first amendment at Columbia every year, and is the author of a very well-received new book on the subject: “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century."

2010 Pulitzer Prize luncheon remarks - David M. Kennedy

Low Library, Columbia University – May 24, 2010


David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy

Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus, Stanford University
Co-chair, The Pulitzer Prize Board



Good afternoon. I’m David Kennedy. My day job is teaching history at Stanford University. I’m here today as the co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, along with my colleague, Amanda Bennett, whom you will meet shortly. We both welcome you to this luncheon and this award ceremony.

We are here today to celebrate excellence – excellence in letters, and music, and several domains of the journalistic enterprise.

In my line of work we believe that everything has a history. Excellence – or, more precisely, reflections on the nature of excellence – has a very rich history. So do the Pulitzer Prizes.

The Prizes owe their origin, of course, to Joseph Pulitzer, the legendary publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World. Pulitzer’s was an all-American biography if ever there was one -- an “Only in America” story worthy of the late Harry Golden. He was born in Hungary to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother, and later married an American Episcopalian. He arrived in the United States in 1864 at the age of 17, speaking virtually no English. He served in the Lincoln Cavalry in the Civil War, and went on to become a titanic Gilded-Age figure who left a deep and durable imprint on American journalism and American culture more generally.

The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917, 13 years after Pulitzer’s death. They were then and remain today unique in embracing the arts as well as the press. There were originally four awards in letters -- for Biography, Fiction, History, and Drama – and three awards in journalism -- for Public Service, Reporting, and Editorial Writing. Over the decades three categories in letters and arts have been added: Poetry in 1922, Music in 1943, and General Non-Fiction in 1962. The journalism categories have proved considerably more fissile: there are now fourteen journalism Prizes, and journalists – most of them senior editors and publishers -- occupy the majority of the seventeen seats on the Pulitzer Board.

In each of the twenty-one Prize categories, the Board receives nominations from juries, typically comprising three to seven members, selected on the basis of their expertise and their reputations for good judgment and fidelity to the highest standards of quality. The jurors submit three nominations in each category. They are under strict instructions, enforced by the Pulitzer Administrator, the redoubtable and ever-vigilant Sig Gissler, not to rank-order their submissions. The practical effect of this procedure is that the members of the Board annually spend every discretionary moment from December to April immersed in 63 of the very best works in letters, the arts, and journalism that American society has to offer.

I’ll return in a moment to the effect that assignment has had on me over the past eight years of my service on the Board.

Like the Prizes, the question of excellence also has a history. In the American context, one of the first persons to reflect on the subject, as early as the 1830s, was Alexis de Tocqueville. In his monumental work, Democracy in America, Tocqueville made some trenchant observations about what he called the “Literary Characteristics of Democratic Times.” He was not sanguine about the prospects for excellence of any kind in a society in which, as he described it, a “general mediocrity” defined the character of culture, a society where “ranks are … intermingled…knowledge and power are both infinitely subdivided …[and] scattered on every side….” From this “motley multitude” he expected little if any distinguished work. American literature, he predicted, “can never present … an aspect of order, regularity, science, and art; its form, on the contrary, will ordinarily be slighted, sometimes despised. Style will frequently be fantastic, incorrect, over-burdened, and loose, almost always vehement and bold…. [T]here will be more wit than erudition… and literary performances will bear marks of an untutored and rude vigor of thought…. The object of authors will be to astonish rather than to please, and to stir passions more than to charm the taste.”

What’s more, Tocqueville believed that the pervasively commercial character of American society would “introduce a trading spirit into literature,” which would breed a class of authors whom the reading public would reward with riches but not with respect. Such a society would “ensure the sale of books that [many read but that] nobody much esteems.”

As for the press, Tocqueville admired the journalism he encountered in Andrew Jackson’s America, not least for its ubiquity and its sheer energy. “In America there is scarcely a hamlet that has not its newspaper,” he noted, and “the number of periodical … publications in the United States is almost incredibly large.” But, compared with his native France, still struggling to emerge from its monarchical and feudal past, he was puzzled that in democratic America, especially with respect to political reporting, “the press is not less destructive in its principles … than in France, and it displays the same violence without the same reasons for indignation.”

Joseph Pulitzer may or may not have read Tocqueville, but with the Prizes established in his name, he surely aimed to nurture and recognize the very best literary, artistic, and journalistic achievements. He arguably aimed to offset what Tocqueville and others have seen as the natural tendencies of American culture toward vulgarity and sensationalism. He would have been proud to see the admirable consequences of his effort in the work we recognize today.

We live in a society notoriously suspicious of elites and elitism, and often healthily so – but I see no reason to be apologetic on this occasion about congratulating you for having done your very best, and for having now been anointed into the Pulitzer elite.

Which brings me back once again to excellence, and its history.

It’s a long history, stretching back to the ancients. They thought a lot about excellence. For Aristotle, excellence constituted the very essence of a life well-lived. “Happiness,” he said “is activity in accordance with excellence,” a sentiment from which President John F. Kennedy drew when he described the satisfactions of the presidency as “the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

Another Greek, Hesiod, even more ancient than Aristotle, a poet who is also recognized as a father of economics, struck a more down-to-earth note when he wrote that “in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it…” John Locke later echoed that thought when he said that “all excellent things are as difficult as they are rare.”

So excellence is rare, difficult to achieve, but also a source of much happiness. On that calculus, today you should all feel distinguished, exhausted -- and downright giddy. You have a right to be. In a society that is sometimes heedless about quality, you have perspired your way to achieving something of lasting importance, and the satisfaction you feel on this occasion is richly deserved.

I promised to say something about the effect on me of engaging with your work – and here I speak especially to the journalists. For each of the last eight years I have emerged from my marathon reading of the journalism entries with two distinct feelings: First, that the Fourth Estate, for all its current tribulations, is in robust good health, capable still of doing work of the finest caliber. All you ink-stained wretches and key-board jockeys continue to be the guardians of the public’s right to know, and conscientious stewards of the fate of this Republic. Second, after reading all your stories about corruption, bribery, malfeasance, deception, neglect, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, turpitude, profligacy, chicanery, and venality, it’s a wonder to me how this Republic survives at all.

A final thought. Homer, in the Odyssey says that “the fame of excellence will never perish.” That’s the Greek way of saying that we now know the first line of your obituary.

Congratulations once more, and now let me hand it over to my colleague, Amanda Bennett.

Novelist Junot Díaz joins Pulitzer Prize Board

New York, NY (May 20, 2010) -- Junot Díaz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose work explores the Dominican-American immigrant experience, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

A creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his best-selling first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

The Pulitzer Board described the work as “a dazzling, richly layered novel about an overweight, nerdy Dominican-American teenager who comes of age in a multi-generational immigrant family, devouring comic books, spinning fantasies and searching for love.”

Widely acclaimed, the book also won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. “Funny, street-smart and keenly observed,” a New York Times review of the novel said. “An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose.”

Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and emigrated to New Jersey as a child. Working his way through college, he graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English.

Díaz preceded his Pulitzer-winning work with Drown , a debut collection of 10 short stories narrated by adolescent Dominican males living in hard-pressed communities in the Dominican Republic, New York and New Jersey. “These stories,” said Publisher’s Weekly, “chronicle their outwardly cool but inwardly anguished attempts to recreate themselves in the midst of eroding family structures and their own burgeoning sexuality.”

Díaz’s fiction has also appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O'Henry Prize Stories 2009 . He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review .

Much in demand as a speaker, Díaz has been honored frequently for his work. He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Pulitzer Prize Board announces new co-chairs

Amanda Bennett, an executive editor at Bloomberg News, and David Kennedy, Stanford historian

Media Contact:
Clare Oh, clare.oh@columbia.edu or (212) 854-5479



New York, NY (April 27, 2010) — Columbia University announced today that Amanda Bennett, an executive editor for Bloomberg News noted for her leadership in investigative journalism, and David Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Stanford University professor and co-director of a center that studies the American West, have been elected the new co-chairs of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Bennett and Kennedy have served on the Pulitzer Board since 2002. They replace Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor of The Miami Herald, who recently completed his tenure as chair. Members of the Board serve a maximum of nine years while a chair serves for only one year.

Amanda Bennett

Bennett, who directs special projects and investigations for Bloomberg News, was the editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June, 2003, to November, 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland.

Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A cum laude graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the paper, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian.

In 1997 Bennett shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues for far-ranging coverage of the struggle against AIDS; and in 2001 she led an Oregonian team to a Pulitzer for public service, providing an “unflinching examination” of problems within the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. She is on the board of the Loeb Awards. Projects by the Bloomberg projects and investigative team won a 2008 Loeb Award, a 2009 Overseas Press Club Award, and a 2010 Polk Award.

Bennett is the author of five books including In Memoriam (1998), co-authored with Terence B. Foley; The Man Who Stayed Behind, co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg (1993), and Death of the Organization Man (1991).

She is a member of National Association of Black Journalists, and The Pennsylvania Women’s Forum. She is on the board of the American Society of News Editors, and is on the board of directors of the Temple University Press and of the Rosenbach Museum, a Philadelphia museum of rare books.

David Kennedy

Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, and co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, is a native of Seattle and a 1963 Stanford graduate. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1968. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1967.

Kennedy teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in 20th century United States history, American political and social thought, American foreign policy, American literature, and the comparative development of democracy in Europe and America. Graduating seniors have four times elected him as Class Day speaker. In 1988 he received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 2005 the Hoagland Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He has also received the Stanford Alumni Association's Richard W. Lyman Award for faculty service. In 2008 the Yale University Graduate School presented him with its highest honor, the Wilbur Cross Medal.

Reflecting his interdisciplinary training in American studies, Kennedy's scholarship is notable for its integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. His 1970 book, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, embraced the medical, legal, political, and religious dimensions of the subject and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women's history. Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) used the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system, economy and culture in the early 20th century. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999) recounts the history of the American people in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II. Kennedy is also the co-author of a textbook in American history, The American Pageant, now in its fourteenth edition.

Birth Control in America was honored with the John Gilmary Shea Prize in 1970 and the Bancroft Prize in 1971. Over Here was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1981. Freedom From Fear won the Pulitzer and Francis Parkman Prizes in 2000, as well as the English-Speaking Union’s Ambassador’s Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California’s California Book Award Gold Medal.

Kennedy, who has lectured on American history around the world, served as chair of the Stanford History Department; director of Stanford's Program in International Relations; and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. Among his many affiliations, he has served on the advisory board for the Public Broadcasting System's "The American Experience" and on the board of Environmental Traveling Companions, a service organization for the handicapped.

Kennedy is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the American Philosophical Society. In 1995-96, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. Since 2000, he has served as editor of the Oxford History of the United States.

2010 Journalism jurors on the job

 

Arriving from across the nation, 77 jurors gathered at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism on March 1, 2 and 3 of 2010 to judge 1,103 entries in the Journalism competition and nominate three finalists in 14 categories. Here are glimpses of the jurors at work.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


 

Jeffrey Good, editor, Valley News, West Lebanon, N.H., reads beneath a portrait of Joseph Pulitzer, founder of the Prizes.

Photos by 2010 Photography Jurors
Nancy Andrews, Steve Gonzales and Richard Murphy.

2009 Journalism jurors in action

 

On March 2, 3 and 4, 77 jurors from across America assembled at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism to judge 1,028 entries in the Journalism competition and nominate three finalists in each of 14 categories. A snowstorm hit the night before opening day but jurors were undeterred. Here are glimpses of them on the job.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


 

Mizell Stewart III

Photos by Photography juror Zach Ryall,
Internet managing editor, Austin American-Statesman.