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Paul Tash 2013 luncheon remarks

Pulitzer Prize Ceremony
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Columbia University


Good afternoon.

It is a profound honor to represent my colleagues on the Pulitzer Prize board at this celebration of extraordinary work in arts, letters and journalism.

Let me acknowledge the board’s debt of gratitude to our dedicated administrator, Sig Gissler, and his colleagues on the Pulitzer staff. It is no mean feat to keep this machinery humming. The cycle that results today in 21 Pulitzer Prizes started with 2,637 entries. Sig and his colleagues tended that process, as they do every year, with excellent judgment and steady good cheer.

The board is also deeply grateful to the 102 authors, scholars, musicians and journalists who signed up for Pulitzer Prize jury duty. As many of you know, Pulitzer Prize winners have to make it through two rounds of judging. In the first stage, the juries winnow the entries down to three finalists in each category.

As the Pulitzer board periodically reminds the world, we have the option – by an extraordinary majority – to consider an entry that has not been nominated as a finalist in a given category. Even so, we occasionally give no prize at all. For the first time during my eight years on the Pulitzer Board, we found winners in all 21 categories from among those finalists recommended by our juries. That result speaks not only to the quality of our winners – which is superb – but to the judgment of our juries.

That is not to say that the board’s decisions this year were quick or easy. They rarely are. Indeed, the quality of the discussion and debate is what makes serving on the Pulitzer Board such a pleasure, surpassed – in my experience – only by my day job and my family. When I was elected to the Pulitzer board, Tom Friedman welcomed me to the “world’s best book club,” and that description certainly fits. But I also have come to think of the board as a wonderfully genial debating society.

For two days each April, we gather in the journalism school, around an oval table, in the room named for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, the World. Without fail, the discussions reveal a deep reading of the finalists. Differences are respectful and friendly but full-throated, settled ultimately by a show of hands. Among board members, no score is kept, and no scores are settled. Any board member with a business or personal connection to a finalist is gently banished to the hallway for the discussion and the vote.

You may not always agree with the result. But in eight years on the board, I have never sniffed even a whiff of doubt about the integrity or the commitment of every board member to recognize the very best work. The process is as intellectually honest as humans can make it.

It is hard to win a Pulitzer Prize. This year, like every year, I left New York struck by the quality of many finalists who did not win a Pulitzer. This year that category included the winner of a National Book Award, a Harvard historian who has won the Pulitzer twice before, and a collection of short stories that won the richest international prize for such writing.

In journalism, the runners-up included an expose that fire retardants in furniture are mostly worthless and toxic, but an industry campaign of lies bamboozled government officials into requiring the chemicals anyway. Other finalists in journalism:
• Triggered a review of 20,000 criminal cases based on questionable forensic science, and got innocent people out of prison.
• Documented how a special police agency was failing to protect the residents of California’s homes for the profoundly disabled.
• Demonstrated how supposedly “non-profit” hospitals in North Carolina are running big surpluses while paying their executives seven-figure salaries and skimping on charity care.

What makes this year’s crop of Pulitzer finalists even more remarkable is the punishing economic pressure on most of the news organizations that have sponsored the work. My first Pulitzer board meeting was in 2006, a high-water mark in advertising revenues for American newspapers.

Since then, the combination of economic crisis and competition from digital alternatives has sent advertising revenues plummeting by more than half. Today, 15,000 fewer journalists have jobs at American newspapers than in 2006.

People outside our wonderful racket know that the commercial enterprises that have created most journalism are going through a rough stretch, so they ask whether the troubles have taken a toll on the Pulitzer Prizes. And the answer, to their surprise and a little to mine, is this: not one bit. The caliber of work that gets to the Pulitzer board is as strong as ever.

How to account for this paradox? Journalistic ambition burns both in organizations and individuals, despite the financial challenges. Bankruptcy may no longer carry particular stigma, but it remains a sign that an enterprise is under real financial strain. By my count, 11 of the 42 finalists in this year’s journalism categories come from journalists working at companies that have sought the shelter of bankruptcy protection. So do four of the 14 Pulitzer winners.

You can feel the strong pulse of journalistic ambition in organizations big and small. Toward one end of the scale, journalists from the New York Times won four Pulitzers this year. Like its other winners, the Times’ entry for international reporting was hugely demanding and expensive. Beyond the salaries and newsprint it took to publish that work, the incalculable cost may be in revenue lost, because the work imperils the company’s investments in China, a huge and growing market.

At the other end of the scale, our prize for national reporting goes to a start-up with a full-time staff of seven people and a history that goes back six years. An organization with neither much resource nor history takes the prize in a category that included all the usual suspects and plenty of heavyweights.

Now, we are about to turn to the most important business of today. The presentation of the Pulitzer Prizes is occasion not just for celebration, but also for inspiration. That is a point I will take from today’s ceremony, and indeed from all my experience on the Pulitzer board.

The work may be difficult. The odds may be long. The challenges may be great. So what? Every day presents an opportunity for excellence, and the chance to do work that makes a great difference. Wherever we labor in journalism, let us make it a labor of love.

Thank you very much.

Pulitzer Board chair praises tenacious journalism winners


Despite economic pressures and other stern challenges, the journalistic work of Pulitzer Prize winners is as strong as ever, the newly elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board said at the luncheon ceremony at Columbia University where the 2013 prizes in journalism, books, music and drama were presented.

Paul Tash, the chief executive of the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper, urged newspapers and other news organizations to persist in facing current problems, saying:

“The work may be difficult. The odds may be long. The challenges may be great. So what? Every day presents an opportunity for excellence, and the chance to do work that makes a great difference.”

Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Company, also paid tribute to the 102 Pulitzer jurors who reviewed more than 2,600 entries in 21 categories. The juries winnow the entries down to three finalists in each category. Tash was elected chair in April and will serve 12 months.

Text: Tash’s remarks
Press release: Tash’s election as chair



Tash on home page

Paul C. Tash, a local news reporter who rose to become the chief executive of Florida’s leading newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, has been elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Company, is also chairman of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a school for journalists and media leaders that owns Times Publishing. He was a Pulitzer Prize journalism juror four times before becoming a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2005. Tash also serves on the boards of the Associated Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists. --05/15/2013

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Paul Tash, CEO of Tampa Bay Times, elected chair of Pulitzer Prize Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact:
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu, 212-854-6164


New York, N.Y., May 15, 2013 -- Paul C. Tash, a local news reporter who rose to become the chief executive of Florida’s leading newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, has been elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Company, replaces co-chairs Gregory Moore, editor of The Denver Post, and Thomas L. Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times. Board members serve a maximum of nine years while a chair serves for only one year.

A native of South Bend, Ind., Tash graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from Indiana University. He received a Marshall Scholarship and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of laws degree from Edinburgh University in Scotland in 1978.

He started with the Times that fall as a reporter covering local news. He went on to cover state government in Tallahassee and served as city editor, metropolitan editor, Washington bureau chief and, ultimately, editor of the Times. From 1990-91, Tash was the editor and publisher of Florida Trend, a statewide business magazine owned by Times Publishing.

Tash is chairman of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a school for journalists and media leaders, which owns Times Publishing. He was a Pulitzer Prize journalism juror four times before becoming a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2005. Tash also serves on the boards of the Associated Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, a group of business leaders.

In 2012, Tash received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University, and he was recently inducted to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Tash is married to the former Karyn Krayer of St. Petersburg, a high school teacher. They have two daughters; one is a physician at Duke University Medical Center, the other a student at Duke Law School.

The Tampa Bay Times is Florida’s largest newspaper, with an average Sunday circulation of 400,000. Widely considered among the country’s best newspapers, it frequently wins major journalism awards.

Often a finalist in the Pulitzer Prize competition, the Times has won nine Pulitzers, including two in 2009, for Feature Writing and National Reporting. The latter award honored the paper’s creation of "PolitiFact," a fact-checking system focused on politics. In 2013, the Times won a Pulitzer for Editorial Writing after campaigning to restore fluoridation to the county water supply, which serves 700,000 residents.

Until 2012, the newspaper was known as the St. Petersburg Times, but changed its name to reflect its growth throughout the Tampa Bay region.
------------------------------------------------

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.

Books, Drama and Music competitions are open

We invite entries in the Books, Drama and Music categories for 2014, spanning work in calendar 2013.

Entry forms in these categories must be submitted electronically using our Website. Entrants are required to pay the $50 handling charge electronically with a credit card.

Actual entry materials -- books, scripts and musical compositions -- should be submitted in hard-copy form to the Pulitzer office via postal or other forms of physical delivery.

Entry deadlines: June 15 and October 1 for Books; December 31 for Drama and Music.

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John Daniszewski, Associated Press news executive and foreign affairs specialist, named to Pulitzer Prize Board

Media contact:
Eric Sharfstein, es3106@columbia.edu, 212-854-6164


New York, N.Y., May 1, 2013 – John Daniszewski, a top news executive at the Associated Press with deep experience in the coverage of major world news events, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Daniszewski became AP’s vice president and senior managing editor for international news in 2009 after three decades as a reporter, editor and correspondent who has been on assignment in more than 70 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

He is responsible for more than 500 editors and reporters in some 100 bureaus outside the United States producing coverage from some of the most complex and challenging news-gathering environments.

Daniszewski played a central role in AP’s opening of the first Western news and photo bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2012, and the Yangon, Myanmar, bureau earlier in 2013 -- the first return to that country by a Western news agency after decades of strict military rule.

He worked for the Los Angeles Times from 1996-2006, serving as bureau chief in Cairo, Moscow, Baghdad and London. In 2001, he covered the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he stayed in Baghdad throughout the U.S. invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. He was part of a team that won an Overseas Press Club award in 2007 and that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist that year for coverage of Iraq’s descent into civil war.

Daniszewski began his journalism career as a stringer for the AP while an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the AP staff in Philadelphia in 1979 and later worked in Harrisburg and on the national and international editing desks in New York. In 1987, he was assigned overseas to Warsaw, Poland. There he covered the revival of Solidarity and the end of Communist rule. In 1989, he was shot and wounded in Timisoara, Romania, during the uprising against Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime. He later covered wars across the former Yugoslavia, including the siege of Sarajevo.

In 1993, he became AP’s bureau chief in Johannesburg, South Africa. He led the AP’s coverage of the election of President Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid before leaving in 1996 to go to the Times. He returned to AP as international editor in 2006 and was named a managing editor the next year.

Daniszewski graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. An Ohio native, he is married to Dru Menaker, senior media advisor for the international development organization IREX. They live in Nyack, NY, and have two children in college, Benjamin and Anna.

He is a member of the North American Committee of the International Press Institute and the Board of Governors of the Overseas Press Club Foundation.

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

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.

Jurors search for nation’s best journalism

 

The 2013 Journalism Jurors gathered at Columbia University in February, and used our online system to judge 1,081 entries and nominate three finalists in 14 categories. Here are pictures of the jurors at work.

 

Click on image to begin the slide show


Photos by 2013 Breaking News and Feature Photography
Juror Tom Franklin

2013 Journalism FAQ 2

In general

Q: Who is eligible?

Q: What is a “news site”?

Q: Can you give examples of online-only newspapers or news sites that would qualify?

Q: What do you mean by “the highest journalistic principles”?

Q: Why are printed magazines and broadcast media and their Web sites excluded?

Q: Is an online-only site eligible if it calls itself a “magazine” or “news magazine”?

Q: If one or two people call their Web site a “newspaper” or “news site” would it be eligible?

Q. How important is reporting in an entry?

Q. How important is an entry’s “public impact”?

Q: What happens to freelance journalists?

Q. Have entry procedures changed in recent years?

About entries

Q. What kind of an entry do you want?

Q. How should material be submitted?

Q. Can text material ever be submitted as URLs?

Q. What about a large-scale graphic?

Q. Must an entry contain material that has been published in the newspaper’s print edition?

Q. Are sidebars considered separate items?

Q. Are additional clips, testimonial letters or other supporting material acceptable?

Q. What about challenges to entries?

Q. Why do you want a summary letter at the beginning of the entry?

Q. How many entries may I submit in a single category?

Q. May I submit the same entry in more than one category?

Q. How many individuals may be named in a team entry?

Q: What is an online element?

Q: Where does video belong?

Q: How should photo entries be submitted?

About categories

Q. How does the Public Service category differ from other categories?

Q. What kind of content belongs in the Breaking News category?

Q. In the Breaking News category, how should I count a series of breaking reports posted to the Web
as events unfold?

Q. What belongs in Explanatory Reporting?.

Q. What belongs in Local Reporting?

Q. What belongs in Feature Writing?

Q. What belongs in the Criticism category?

Q. What is the difference between Editorial Writing and Commentary?

Q: Does it matter whether the point of view in Editorial Writing is conservative or liberal or something in between?

Q: Does an Editorial Writing entry have to be an editorial campaign that focuses on a particular issue and can demonstrate results?

Q. How do multimedia elements fit into “writing” categories, such as Feature Writing and Editorial Writing?



In general

Q: Who is eligible? A: Material entered in the Pulitzer competition must derive from a United States newspaper or news site that publishes at least weekly and that adheres to the highest journalistic principles. Magazines and broadcast media, and their respective Web sites, are not eligible. As needed, eligibility will be determined case by case.

Q: What is a “news site”? How does it differ from a newspaper? A: We mean United States entities ranging from a traditional wire service to online ventures that do not call themselves newspapers but do publish news, opinion and other information of public interest. Whatever their platform, eligible entrants can include a full range of online material in their submissions.

Q: Can you give examples of online-only newspapers or news sites that would qualify? A: Sites such as MinnPost, Voice of San Diego, ProPublica and Climate Wire have participated in the competition.

Q: What do you mean by “the highest journalistic principles”? A: We mean values such as honesty, accuracy and fairness, values that govern the way news is gathered and the way it is presented.

Q: Why are printed magazines and broadcast media and their Web sites excluded? A: Since their creation in 1917, the Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded exclusively for newspaper journalism. The growth of text-based online publications is in many ways an extension of the newspaper tradition. Moreover, magazines and broadcast media have long had their own contests.

Q: Is an online-only site eligible if it calls itself a “magazine” or “news magazine”? A: No. Self-designated magazines are ineligible.

Q: If one or two people call their Web site a “newspaper” or “news site” would it be eligible? A: Possibly, if all the other criteria are satisfied. But to compete effectively, an entry would have to
demonstrate a high level of quality.

Q: How important is reporting in an entry? A: In its reporting categories, the Pulitzer Board places special emphasis on original news reporting, which entails such techniques as interviewing, first-hand observation, reviewing public records, proper attribution, taking photos and shooting videos.

Q: How important is an entry’s “public impact”? A: The Board is interested in evidence of an entry’s impact, such as the spurring of legislative action or prosecution of lawbreakers. The Board is also interested in reader engagement as a gauge of impact – through letters, e-mails, Web site postings and other audience interaction.

Q: What happens to freelance journalists? A: Freelance reporters, cartoonists,
columnists, critics or bloggers who produce work in print or online can enter the competition if their submitted work has
been published by an eligible newspaper or news site during the calendar year. Freelancers have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Q: Have entry procedures changed in recent years? A: Yes. Please visit the Pulitzer Web site at www.pulitzer.org for details and guidance through the electronic entry system.

About entries

Q: What kind of an entry do you want? A: An entry should be clear and concise, allowing any juror to see quickly what you did, why you did it and what you accomplished.

Q: How should material be submitted? A: All material must be submitted electronically. Text material, such as articles and columns, should be formatted and submitted as PDFs. To assure readability, the PDF should

measure no larger than 8 1/2 x 14 inches, the type size should be 12 pt. and the text should be in a one- or two-column format, single spaced. To show the original display of the material, you can use the first page of the PDF to frame or highlight an entered article on its published page; or use a visual thumbnail to depict the article’s original spread. See examples on Pulitzer website. Video and other online content, such as interactive graphics or databases, should be entered only as URLs on the Pulitzer entry site. You are responsible for making sure the URL works from “outside” your organization. For more details, see technical requirements.

Q: Can text material ever be submitted as URLs? A: No, it must be formatted and
submitted as PDFs.

Q: What about a large-scale graphic? A graphic occupying up to a newspaper page or more can be uploaded as a PDF in a size sufficient to reflect the scope and integrity of the work. It will count as one item.

Q: Must an entry contain material that has been published in the newspaper’s print edition? A: No, but a combination of print and online elements may be submitted.

Q: Are sidebars considered separate items? A: Yes. Any sidebar submitted will be counted as an item.

Q: Are additional clips, testimonial letters or other supporting material acceptable? A: Judges focus on the entry itself and have only a limited ability to review supplemental material. It should be kept to a minimum. Material that shows how the work engaged its readers, achieved results or caused other news organizations to write about it are examples of acceptable supplemental items. However, under the digital entry system, all supplemental material should be combined and submitted as a single PDF file with multiple pages.

Q: What about challenges to entries? A: Any significant challenge to the honesty, accuracy or fairness of an entry should be noted in the entry’s cover letter and relevant published letters, corrections, retractions, as well as responses by the news organization, should be noted and explained in the cover letter.

Q: Why do you want a summary letter at the beginning of the entry? A: Two purposes. One is to demonstrate the eligibility of the entry. The other is to acquaint jurors with the work. The letter should not exceed two pages.

Q: How many entries may I submit in a single category? A: No more than three entries
may be made by the editors of a single newspaper, wire service, syndicate or eligible news entity in any one category. The term “editors” includes all titled editors. Individuals may submit entries on their own behalf.

Q: May I submit the same entry in more than one category? A: The same material may be entered in two—but not more than two—different categories. A separate copy of your entry must be supplied for each of the two categories you enter. Where the permissible number of items in the two categories differs, you must prepare entries
conforming to the requirements for each category. An added $50 fee must be paid for each cross-file.

Q: How many individuals may be named in a team entry? A: Up to five and they should be the strongest contributors. If more are involved, the entry must be in the name of the staff.

Q: What is an online element? A: This vague term refers to a variety of possible items on the Web, including a story, video, database, blog, interactive graphic or slide show. The rule is that each designated online element will count as one item in the total number permitted in an entry. But beware: Cramming too much into one item taxes the patience of judges. Edit your entry. Make sure it is compelling, cohesive and concise. The conceptual logic tying the parts together should be clear. In their judging, jurors will look at multimedia material the way a viewer does, taking into account ease of navigation as well as quality of content.

Q: Where does video belong? A: Video storytelling can be entered in all categories except Photography, where entries are restricted to still images. Usually video is part of an entry that contains other items, such as stories or graphics, but an entry consisting entirely of video storytelling is permissible. Each separate video counts as one item in an entry – except in cases where several short videos on the same theme are combined into one presentation of 10 minutes or less. See technical requirements.

Q: How should photo entries be submitted? A: See technical requirements.

About categories

Q: How does the Public Service category differ from other categories? A: Public Service rewards total journalistic effort, such as overcoming obstacles to reporting, achieving results that benefit a community, using all available resources and engaging readers. An entry may include articles, blogs, editorials, cartoons, photographs, video, multimedia presentations and other items that appeared in print or online. The entry must be made in the name of the eligible entity.

Q: What kind of content belongs in the Breaking News category? A: The category seeks a coherent balance under deadline pressure. On the one hand, the entry should clearly demonstrate how quickly and accurately a news organization used all available journalistic tools to cover the story, with emphasis on a demonstrated use of real-time reporting. It would be disappointing if an event occurred at 8 a.m. and the first item of your entry was drawn from the next day’s newspaper. On the other hand, the Board is also interested in subsequent coverage that, within days, puts an event in perspective and provides greater context, with the entry reflecting the best representation of each day’s coverage. We suggest providing a timeline, in the cover letter or in supplemental material, detailing the precise chronology of events in a breaking story and how it relates to the timing of items that comprise the entry.

Q: In the Breaking News category, how should I count a series of breaking reports posted to the Web as events unfold? A: You may count items differently if multiple brief dispatches were posted to the Web. Examples would include reports from different areas during a hurricane, updates as the facts of an airplane crash or a school sniper incident become known. This may constitute a single online item that leads readers from the initiation of a news event to a more complete picture of what is happening. The single item could be a PDF with several pages or a list of URLs embedded in a PDF, allowing quick evaluation of coverage. Provide enough detail to convey the sweep of your coverage but be mindful that this latitude could easily be abused, to the detriment of your entry in the eyes of the judges. Look for the material that most concisely and comprehensively conveys your coverage.

Q: What belongs in Explanatory Reporting? A: Any story or series that provides deeper understanding of a subject that is both significant and complex, enabling readers to put news about it into a meaningful context. We strongly advise against cross-filing into this category material that fits the definition only marginally. The jury will disregard an investigative, enterprise or feature story or series that falls short of the explanatory test.

Q: What belongs in Local Reporting? A: Robust reporting on significant city, regional or state issues, demonstrating original thinking, resourcefulness and an expert grasp of a community's makeup, problems and concerns. Originality can include a fresh approach to a familiar issue, or the exploration of an unusual issue or concern.Entries may consist of a reporter's body of sustained work as well as special projects; and the work's impact can entail greater insight by readers as well as political change. An entry should begin with a descriptive letter offering context: why the reporting was done and how local people benefited. We discourage cross-filing of entries – especially those also placed in Investigative Reporting – that lack the strong "local reporting" envisaged by the category's definition and guidelines.

Q: What belongs in Feature Writing? A: Stories that are not hard news and are
distinguished by the quality of their writing. Stories should be memorable for their reporting, crafting, creativity and
economy of expression. Entries may consist of a single significant story, a portfolio of stand-alone stories that reveals a body of work or a concise series of stories on a single topic.

Q: What belongs in the Criticism category? A: Critical work on such subjects as books, theater, television, movies, dance and architecture.

Q: What is the difference between Editorial Writing and Commentary? A: Editorials are written in the name of the newspaper or news entity. Columns represent the writer’s views.

Q: Does it matter whether the point of view in Editorial Writing is conservative or liberal or something in between? A: No. What does matter is the quality of the argument and its persuasiveness, using facts, sound logic and engaging prose. Judges will also consider how well an entry addresses competing arguments.

Q: Does an Editorial Writing entry have to be an editorial campaign that focuses on a particular issue and can demonstrate results? A: Not necessarily, though this sort of entry is most common. Also of value are editorials whose moral purpose and power of influence are significant enough to make them especially memorable, persuasive and pivotal to public debate.

Q: How do multimedia elements fit into “writing” categories, such as Feature Writing and
Editorial Writing?
A: While juries will place primary emphasis on the quality of the writing, multimedia elements are welcome in order to enhance an entry.

2013 Journalism FAQ

back to guidelines

In general

Q: Who is eligible?

Q: What is a "news site"?

Q: Can you give examples of online-only newspapers or news sites that would qualify?

Q: What do you mean by "the highest journalistic principles"?

Q: Why are printed magazines and broadcast media and their Web sites excluded?

Q: Is an online-only site eligible if it calls itself a “magazine” or "news magazine"?

Q: If one or two people call their Web site a "newspaper" or "news site" would it be eligible?

Q. How important is reporting in an entry?

Q. How important is an entry’s "public impact"?

Q: What happens to freelance journalists?

Q. Have entry procedures changed in recent years?

About entries

Q. What kind of an entry do you want?

Q. How should material be submitted?

Q. Can text material ever be submitted as URLs?

Q. What about a large-scale graphic?

Q. Must an entry contain material that has been published in the newspaper’s print edition?

Q. Are sidebars considered separate items?

Q. Are additional clips, testimonial letters or other supporting material acceptable?

Q. What about challenges to entries?

Q. Why do you want a summary letter at the beginning of the entry?

Q. How many entries may I submit in a single category?

Q. May I submit the same entry in more than one category?

Q. How many individuals may be named in a team entry?

Q: What is an online element?

Q: Where does video belong?

Q: How should photo entries be submitted?

About categories

Q. How does the Public Service category differ from other categories?

Q. What kind of content belongs in the Breaking News category?

Q. In the Breaking News category, how should I count a series of breaking reports posted to the Web
as events unfold?

Q. What belongs in Explanatory Reporting?.

Q. What belongs in Local Reporting?

Q. What belongs in Feature Writing?

Q. What belongs in the Criticism category?

Q. What is the difference between Editorial Writing and Commentary?

Q: Does it matter whether the point of view in Editorial Writing is conservative or liberal or something in between?

Q: Does an Editorial Writing entry have to be an editorial campaign that focuses on a particular issue and can demonstrate results?

Q. How do multimedia elements fit into "writing" categories, such as Feature Writing and Editorial Writing?



In general

Q: Who is eligible? A: Material entered in the Pulitzer competition must derive from a United States newspaper or news site that publishes at least weekly and that adheres to the highest journalistic principles. Magazines and broadcast media, and their respective Web sites, are not eligible. As needed, eligibility will be determined case by case.

Q: What is a "news site"? How does it differ from a newspaper? A: We mean United States entities ranging from a traditional wire service to online ventures that do not call themselves newspapers but do publish news, opinion and other information of public interest. Whatever their platform, eligible entrants can include a full range of online material in their submissions.

Q: Can you give examples of online-only newspapers or news sites that would qualify? A: Sites such as MinnPost, Voice of San Diego, ProPublica and Climate Wire have participated in the competition.

Q: What do you mean by "the highest journalistic principles"? A: We mean values such as honesty, accuracy and fairness, values that govern the way news is gathered and the way it is presented.

Q: Why are printed magazines and broadcast media and their Web sites excluded? A: Since their creation in 1917, the Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded exclusively for newspaper journalism. The growth of text-based online publications is in many ways an extension of the newspaper tradition. Moreover, magazines and broadcast media have long had their own contests.

Q: Is an online-only site eligible if it calls itself a "magazine" or "news magazine"? A: No. Self-designated magazines are ineligible.

Q: If one or two people call their Web site a "newspaper" or "news site" would it be eligible? A: Possibly, if all the other criteria are satisfied. But to compete effectively, an entry would have to
demonstrate a high level of quality.

Q: How important is reporting in an entry? A: In its reporting categories, the Pulitzer Board places special emphasis on original news reporting, which entails such techniques as interviewing, first-hand observation, reviewing public records, proper attribution, taking photos and shooting videos.

Q: How important is an entry’s “public impact”? A: The Board is interested in evidence of an entry’s impact, such as the spurring of legislative action or prosecution of lawbreakers. The Board is also interested in reader engagement as a gauge of impact – through letters, e-mails, Web site postings and other audience interaction.

Q: What happens to freelance journalists? A: Freelance reporters, cartoonists,
columnists, critics or bloggers who produce work in print or online can enter the competition if their submitted work has
been published by an eligible newspaper or news site during the calendar year. Freelancers have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Q: Have entry procedures changed in recent years? A: Yes. Please visit the Pulitzer Web site at www.pulitzer.org for details and guidance through the electronic entry system.

About entries

Q: What kind of an entry do you want? A: An entry should be clear and concise, allowing any juror to see quickly what you did, why you did it and what you accomplished.

Q: How should material be submitted? A: All material must be submitted electronically. Text material, such as articles and columns, should be formatted and submitted as PDFs. To assure readability, the PDF should

measure no larger than 8 1/2 x 14 inches, the type size should be 12 pt. and the text should be in a one- or two-column format, single spaced. To show the original display of the material, you can use the first page of the PDF to frame or highlight an entered article on its published page; or use a visual thumbnail to depict the article’s original spread. See examples on Pulitzer website. Video and other online content, such as interactive graphics or databases, should be entered only as URLs on the Pulitzer entry site. You are responsible for making sure the URL works from “outside” your organization. For more details, see technical requirements.

Q: Can text material ever be submitted as URLs? A: No, it must be formatted and
submitted as PDFs.

Q: What about a large-scale graphic? A graphic occupying up to a newspaper page or more can be uploaded as a PDF in a size sufficient to reflect the scope and integrity of the work. It will count as one item.

Q: Must an entry contain material that has been published in the newspaper’s print edition? A: No, but a combination of print and online elements may be submitted.

Q: Are sidebars considered separate items? A: Yes. Any sidebar submitted will be counted as an item.

Q: Are additional clips, testimonial letters or other supporting material acceptable? A: Judges focus on the entry itself and have only a limited ability to review supplemental material. It should be kept to a minimum. Material that shows how the work engaged its readers, achieved results or caused other news organizations to write about it are examples of acceptable supplemental items. However, under the digital entry system, all supplemental material should be combined and submitted as a single PDF file with multiple pages.

Q: What about challenges to entries? A: Any significant challenge to the honesty, accuracy or fairness of an entry should be noted in the entry’s cover letter and relevant published letters, corrections, retractions, as well as responses by the news organization, should be noted and explained in the cover letter.

Q: Why do you want a summary letter at the beginning of the entry? A: Two purposes. One is to demonstrate the eligibility of the entry. The other is to acquaint jurors with the work. The letter should not exceed two pages.

Q: How many entries may I submit in a single category? A: No more than three entries
may be made by the editors of a single newspaper, wire service, syndicate or eligible news entity in any one category. The term “editors” includes all titled editors. Individuals may submit entries on their own behalf.

Q: May I submit the same entry in more than one category? A: The same material may be entered in two—but not more than two—different categories. A separate copy of your entry must be supplied for each of the two categories you enter. Where the permissible number of items in the two categories differs, you must prepare entries
conforming to the requirements for each category. An added $50 fee must be paid for each cross-file.

Q: How many individuals may be named in a team entry? A: Up to five and they should be the strongest contributors. If more are involved, the entry must be in the name of the staff.

Q: What is an online element? A: This vague term refers to a variety of possible items on the Web, including a story, video, database, blog, interactive graphic or slide show. The rule is that each designated online element will count as one item in the total number permitted in an entry. But beware: Cramming too much into one item taxes the patience of judges. Edit your entry. Make sure it is compelling, cohesive and concise. The conceptual logic tying the parts together should be clear. In their judging, jurors will look at multimedia material the way a viewer does, taking into account ease of navigation as well as quality of content.

Q: Where does video belong? A: Video storytelling can be entered in all categories except Photography, where entries are restricted to still images. Usually video is part of an entry that contains other items, such as stories or graphics, but an entry consisting entirely of video storytelling is permissible. Each separate video counts as one item in an entry – except in cases where several short videos on the same theme are combined into one presentation of 10 minutes or less. See technical requirements.

Q: How should photo entries be submitted? A: See technical requirements.

About categories

Q: How does the Public Service category differ from other categories? A: Public Service rewards total journalistic effort, such as overcoming obstacles to reporting, achieving results that benefit a community, using all available resources and engaging readers. An entry may include articles, blogs, editorials, cartoons, photographs, video, multimedia presentations and other items that appeared in print or online. The entry must be made in the name of the eligible entity.

Q: What kind of content belongs in the Breaking News category? A: The category seeks a coherent balance under deadline pressure. On the one hand, the entry should clearly demonstrate how quickly and accurately a news organization used all available journalistic tools to cover the story, with emphasis on a demonstrated use of real-time reporting. It would be disappointing if an event occurred at 8 a.m. and the first item of your entry was drawn from the next day’s newspaper. On the other hand, the Board is also interested in subsequent coverage that, within days, puts an event in perspective and provides greater context, with the entry reflecting the best representation of each day’s coverage. We suggest providing a timeline, in the cover letter or in supplemental material, detailing the precise chronology of events in a breaking story and how it relates to the timing of items that comprise the entry.

Q: In the Breaking News category, how should I count a series of breaking reports posted to the Web as events unfold? A: You may count items differently if multiple brief dispatches were posted to the Web. Examples would include reports from different areas during a hurricane, updates as the facts of an airplane crash or a school sniper incident become known. This may constitute a single online item that leads readers from the initiation of a news event to a more complete picture of what is happening. The single item could be a PDF with several pages or a list of URLs embedded in a PDF, allowing quick evaluation of coverage. Provide enough detail to convey the sweep of your coverage but be mindful that this latitude could easily be abused, to the detriment of your entry in the eyes of the judges. Look for the material that most concisely and comprehensively conveys your coverage.

Q: What belongs in Explanatory Reporting? A: Any story or series that provides deeper understanding of a subject that is both significant and complex, enabling readers to put news about it into a meaningful context. We strongly advise against cross-filing into this category material that fits the definition only marginally. The jury will disregard an investigative, enterprise or feature story or series that falls short of the explanatory test.

Q: What belongs in Local Reporting? A: Robust reporting on significant city, regional or state issues, demonstrating original thinking, resourcefulness and an expert grasp of a community's makeup, problems and concerns. Originality can include a fresh approach to a familiar issue, or the exploration of an unusual issue or concern.Entries may consist of a reporter's body of sustained work as well as special projects; and the work's impact can entail greater insight by readers as well as political change. An entry should begin with a descriptive letter offering context: why the reporting was done and how local people benefited. We discourage cross-filing of entries – especially those also placed in Investigative Reporting – that lack the strong "local reporting" envisaged by the category's definition and guidelines.

Q: What belongs in Feature Writing? A: Stories that are not hard news and are
distinguished by the quality of their writing. Stories should be memorable for their reporting, crafting, creativity and
economy of expression. Entries may consist of a single significant story, a portfolio of stand-alone stories that reveals a body of work or a concise series of stories on a single topic.

Q: What belongs in the Criticism category? A: Critical work on such subjects as books, theater, television, movies, dance and architecture.

Q: What is the difference between Editorial Writing and Commentary? A: Editorials are written in the name of the newspaper or news entity. Columns represent the writer’s views.

Q: Does it matter whether the point of view in Editorial Writing is conservative or liberal or something in between? A: No. What does matter is the quality of the argument and its persuasiveness, using facts, sound logic and engaging prose. Judges will also consider how well an entry addresses competing arguments.

Q: Does an Editorial Writing entry have to be an editorial campaign that focuses on a particular issue and can demonstrate results? A: Not necessarily, though this sort of entry is most common. Also of value are editorials whose moral purpose and power of influence are significant enough to make them especially memorable, persuasive and pivotal to public debate.

Q: How do multimedia elements fit into "writing" categories, such as Feature Writing and
Editorial Writing?
A: While juries will place primary emphasis on the quality of the writing, multimedia elements are welcome in order to enhance an entry.

back to guidelines

2011 Pulitzer Prize seminar: "Hiding in Plain Sight"



October 4, 2011 video of panelists Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives of the Los Angeles Times; Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark; and Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The moderator is Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times, a three-time Pulitzer winner.

2012 Pulitzer Prize seminar: "Holding Up the Mirror"

<--back to seminars page


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, 2012, they delved into the origins of their stories and shared reporting tips and techniques. The panel was moderated by Sheila Coronel, Director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.



Part 1: Introduction of panelists


Part 2: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Violence in public schools
Panelists: Susan Snyder and Mike Leary


Part 3: The Seattle Times - The deadly embrace of a painkiller
Panelist: Michael J. Berens


Part 4: The Denver Post - Hidden wounds of struggling veterans
Panelist: Craig F. Walker


Part 5: Associated Press: Controversial Spying by New York Police
Panelists: Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan


Part 6: General Q & A

2012 Pulitzer Prize seminar slide show

<--back to seminars page

 

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

2014

Covering the Overlooked

On Tuesday, November 11, prizewinning journalists discussed how their reporting and commentary exposed the plights of the overlooked and neglected. Topics and participants included:

Breathless and Burdened: Dying from black lung, buried by law and medicine
The Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Reporting Prize, Chris Hamby

Other Than Honorable
The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., National Reporting Prize, David Philipps and Joanna Bean.

Columns on the financial crisis facing Detroit
Detroit Free Press, Commentary Prize, Stephen Henderson

Sheila Coronel, director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, and dean of academic affairs at The Journalism School, Columbia University, moderated the program.

watch slide show of the event

watch video of the event

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.

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

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.

read more...

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.

read more...

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.

read more...

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.

read more...

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).