Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an American news media organization established in 2006 that sponsors independent reporting on global issues that other media outlets are less willing or able to undertake on their own. The Center's goal is to raise the standard of coverage of international systemic crises, and to do so in a way that engages both the broad public and government policy-makers. The organization is based in Washington, D.C.
The Pulitzer funds international travel costs associated with reporting projects on topics and regions of global importance. Grant amounts for journalists depend on the project and range from $3,000 to $20,000. All journalists, writers or filmmakers, both freelance and staff of any nationality, may apply.
Pulitzer Center reporting projects
The Pulitzer Center has sponsored reporting projects on a wide variety of under-reported stories across the globe. The projects incorporate blog posts, multimedia reporting, and multiple pieces that run in major mainstream news outlets such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Guardian, Financial Times, PBS Newshour, Seattle Times, The New Yorker, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. The Pulitzer Center treats the reporting projects as full-blown campaigns, designed to create maximum exposure for the reporting. This entails promoting the projects through social media, partnerships with other websites and organizations, and lectures by the journalists themselves at universities and schools.
Pulitzer Center-funded projects have won nearly every journalism award available including from Associated Press Media Editors, the National Academy of Sciences, CINE Golden Eagle Award, Loeb, Society of Professional Journalists, .
Documentaries funded by the Center have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, at the United Nations, and at government office buildings and more. "The Abominable Crime", a film by grantee Micah Fink on Jamaica's violent homophobia, is currently screening around the U.S. The film won "Best Feature Length Documentary" at the Belize International Film Festival. "No Fire Zone", a film by grantee Callum Macrae about government killing of Tamil citizens in the last days of the Sri Lankan civil war, has been garnering attention around the world -- even from Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Pulitzer Center received the 2009 National Press Foundation Excellence in Online Journalism Award. In September 2009 the Pulitzer Center's multimedia website LiveHopeLove.com won an Emmy Award for new approaches to news and documentary programming, in the arts, lifestyle and culture category. LiveHopeLove.com also won the 2009 Webby Award People's Voice Award for the Art category, was a finalist in the Best Use of Photography category, and was an Officlal Honoree in the Best Visual Design - Aesthetic category. The site incorporated the poetry of Kwame Dawes and photography of Joshua Cogan. People interviewed by Dawes for the website are inspirations for his poems, and the audience can meet them through photographs and videos on the LiveHopeLove.com.
Pulitzer Center coverage of post-earthquake Haiti won the 2011 National Press Club Joan Friedenberg Award for Online Journalism, along with msnbc.com.
The Pulitzer Center bridges traditional and new media to engage the public in as many ways as possible – from print and broadcast outlets to face-to-face community discussion and interactive web-based technology. In 2013, the Pulitzer Center contributed funding to multimedia long-form pieces which take advantage of HTML5 and responsive design advances: The Seattle Times', and the Financial Times' Austerity Audit series.
The Pulitzer Center is also at the forefront of interactive e-book design and has won awards and accolades from Picture of the Year International, National Press Photographers Association, the Webbys, Kirkus Reviews, and more. They use two free platforms for production—iBooks Author and Creatavist.
In December 2007, YouTube editors put the Pulitzer Center at the top of their "News and Politics" page and praised its videos as "some of the most moving journalism you'll find on this site."
Board of Directors
- Emily Rauh Pulitzer, President. Chair and founder of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis.
- David E. Moore, Former Board member, Pulitzer, Inc.
- William Bush, Partner and general counsel BDT Capital Partners previously, Partner-in-charge, Fulbright & Jaworski, New York.
- Joel Motley, Managing Director of Public Capital Advisors LLC
- Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
- Bill Berkeley, adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Author of The Graves Are Not Yet Filled: Race, Tribe and Power in the Heart of Africa. Contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The Washington Post.
- John Carroll, former editor, Los Angeles Times.
- William Freivogel, director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's School of Journalism. Former Washington correspondent and deputy editorial page editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Charlayne Hunter-Gault, journalist, currently based in South Africa and reporting for National Public Radio. Formerly a correspondent for CNN, PBS NewsHour, and The New York Times.
- Geneva Overholser, Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Missouri. Former ombudsman, The Washington Post. Former editor, Des Moines Register.
YouTube Project: Report
In 2008, the Pulitzer Center and YouTube sponsored Project: Report, a video contest for non-professional journalists. The grand prize winner of the contest, Arturo Perez, received a $10,000 grant for an international reporting project, which he used to travel to Jerusalem and produce a video on dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli youth.
In 2010, the Pulitzer Center and YouTube again teamed up for Project: Report, this time selecting five winners of the grand prize who each received $10,000 grants for international reporting projects. The winners were Samantha Danis, Paul Franz, Elan Gepner, Mark Jeevaratnam, and Alex Rozier.
Detention and Uganda photo
Following the June 2009 presidential election in Iran, Pulitzer Center-commissioned journalist Iason Athanasiadis was detained for three weeks in Tehran's Evin Prison. Covering the elections as a freelance reporter for the Washington Times, Athanasiadis was commissioned to report on the elections as part of the Pulitzer Center's goal to "fill in large media gaps." Following his release, Athanasiadis continued to report on the opposition movement in Iran and its activities, despite the risks that it entailed.
In April 2010, the Pulitzer Center came under fire after a grantee and World Press Photo winner, Marco Vernaschi, was accused of requesting that a Ugandan mother exhume her recently deceased child, offering payment after the fact. The allegations were revealed publicly when Brazilian-Norwegian photographer André Liohn traveled to Uganda to report the same story and uncovered evidence to suggest, contrary to a vague photo caption written by Vernaschi, that he was not present at the time of burial and had in essence staged a photo and offered payment in return. After notifying the Pulitzer Center and the photojournalist Anne Holmes, who subsequently removed an interview with Vernaschi that had previously been on her blog, Liohn went public on the journalists' forum Lightstalkers. The story drew more attention when Roy Greenslade wrote it up in The Guardian. As of October 2011, the Pulitzer Center remains firmly behind Vernaschi's work, although it has withdrawn several images from this and another story (where questions were raised about the ethics of showing the face and genitalia of a child who had suffered genital mutilation) and hosted a debate and discussion about the photographer's working methods, journalistic integrity, and professional ethics.
- Westphal, David (May 14, 2009). "Foreign reporting, the entrepreneurial and multimedia way". The Online Journalism Review.
- Good, Jeffrey (April 7, 2007). "Big World Reporting from a Small-Town Shop". Poynter Online.
- Marino, Jacqueline (April 23, 2010). "Writing is part of the digital story: examples of powerful multimedia presentations that incorporate (not just link to) good nonfiction writing". Nieman Storyboard.
- Sea Change series
- Guensburg, Carol (February/March 2008). "Funding for Foreign Forays". American Journalism Review.
- Rosen-Molina, Mike (September 25, 2008). "Can Pulitzer Contest Boost Serious Journalism on YouTube?". MediaShift.
- "Project: Report 2010 – Sharing Your Stories With the World". Citizen Tube. February 1, 2010.
- "YouTube Project: Report winners announced". Be Magazin. April 26, 2010.
- Chebaclo, Lloyd (December 3, 2009). "Post-Election Iran: On the Streets and In the Prisons". National Iranian American Council.
- Anne Holmes, "Interview with Marco Vernaschi Retracted", Vigilante Journalism, n.d. (earliest comments are dated 22 April 2010). Accessed 2011-10-17.
- André Liohn, "Illegal exhumation: A debate about Marco Vernaschi's methods", Lightstalkers, 18 April 2010. Accessed 2011-10-17.
- Roy Greenslade, "Was it right for a photographer to have a child exhumed to take a picture?", Guardian, 21 April 2010. Accessed 2011-10-17.
- Jon Sawyer, editor's note, "Uganda: Response to Critics", Pulitzer Center, 25 April 2010. Accessed 2011-10-17.