Pulitzer Prize

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Pulitzer Prize
Gen pulitzer.jpg
Awarded for Excellence in newspaper journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition
Country United States
Presented by Columbia University
First awarded 1917
Official website www.pulitzer.org

The Pulitzer Prize /ˈpʊlɨtsər/[1] is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.[2] Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award.[3] The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.[3][4]

Entry and prize consideration[edit]

The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically entered.[5] (There is a $50 entry fee, paid for each desired entry category.) Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance for being literary or musical.[5] Works can also only be entered in a maximum of two categories, regardless of their properties.

Each year, 102 judges are selected, by the Pulitzer Prize Board, to serve on 20 separate juries for the 21 award categories (one jury for both photography awards). Most juries consist of five members, except for those for public service, investigative reporting, beat reporting, feature writing and commentary categories, which have seven members.[2] For each award category, a jury makes three nominations. The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations, or—75% majority vote—bypasses the nominations and selects a different entry. The board can also vote to issue no award. The board is not paid for its work. The jurors in letters, music, and drama get a $2000 honorarium for the year, and each chair gets $2500.[2]

The difference between entrants and nominated finalists[edit]

Anyone whose work has been submitted is called an entrant. The jury selects a group of nominated finalists and announces them, together with the winner for each category. However, some journalists who were only submitted, but not nominated as finalists, still claim to be Pulitzer nominees in promotional material.

For example, msnbc.com's Bill Dedman pointed out in 2012 that financial journalist Betty Liu was described as "Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" in her Bloomberg Television advertising and the jacket of her book, while National Review writer Jonah Goldberg made similar claims of "Pulitzer nomination" to promote his books. Dedman wrote, "To call that submission a Pulitzer 'nomination' is like saying that Adam Sandler is an Oscar nominee if Columbia Pictures enters That's My Boy in the Academy Awards. Many readers realize that the Oscars don't work that way—the studios don't pick the nominees. It's just a way of slipping 'Academy Awards' into a bio. The Pulitzers also don't work that way, but fewer people know that."[6]

History[edit]

Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize. It allocated $250,000 to the prize and scholarships.[7] He specified "four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships."[2] After his death, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded June 4, 1917; they are now announced each April. The Chicago Tribune under the control of Colonel McCormick felt that the Pulitzer Prize was nothing more than a 'mutual admiration society' and not to be taken seriously; the paper refused to compete for the prize during McCormick's tenure up until 1961.[8][9]

Recipients[edit]

Individuals[edit]

Many people have won more than one Pulitzer Prize. No one has won both a prize for arts and letters (left column) and one for journalism (right column, incomplete). Nelson Harding is the only person to have won a prize in two consecutive years, the Editorial Cartooning Pulitzer in 1927 and 1928.

Arts & Letters[edit]

Four prizes


Three prizes


Two prizes

Journalism[edit]

Four prizes
  • Carol Guzy, photojournalism, various subcategories


Three prizes


Two prizes

Newspapers[edit]

The prize for Public Service is awarded only to news organizations, not individuals. Awards for journalism categories such as General News Reporting may be awarded to individuals or newspapers or newspaper staffs.[citation needed]

Categories[edit]

The Pulitzer Prizes
Gen pulitzer.jpg
Joseph Pulitzer    •    Pulitzers by year
Pulitzer winners
Journalism:
Letters, Drama, and Music:
Other prizes:

Awards are made in categories relating to newspaper journalism, arts, and letters and fiction. Only published reports and photographs by United States-based newspapers or daily news organizations are eligible for the journalism prize. Beginning in 2007, "An assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images."[10] In December 2008 it was announced that for the first time content published in online-only news sources would be considered.[11]

Definitions of Pulitzer Prize categories as presented in the 2008 competition:

  • Public Service – for a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, presented in print or online or both. Often thought of as the grand prize, and mentioned first in listings of the journalism prizes, the Public Service award is given to the newspaper, not to individuals, though individuals are often mentioned for their contributions. Alone among the Pulitzer Prizes, it is awarded in the form of the Joseph Pulitzer Gold Medal.
  • Breaking News Reporting – for a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news.
  • Investigative Reporting – for a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single newspaper article or series.
  • Explanatory Reporting – for a distinguished example of explanatory newspaper reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing, and clear presentation.
  • Local Reporting – for a distinguished example of local newspaper reporting that illuminates significant issues or concerns.[10]
  • National Reporting – for a distinguished example of newspaper reporting on national affairs.
  • International Reporting – for a distinguished example of newspaper reporting on international affairs, including United Nations correspondence.
  • Feature Writing – for a distinguished example of newspaper feature writing giving prime consideration to high literary quality and originality.
  • Commentary – for distinguished commentary.
  • Criticism – for distinguished criticism.
  • Editorial Writing – for distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clarity of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer perceives to be the right direction.
  • Editorial Cartooning – for a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons published during the year, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing, and pictorial effect.
  • Breaking News Photography, previously called Spot News Photography – for a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence, or an album.
  • Feature Photography – for a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence, or an album.

There are six categories in letters and drama:

  • Fiction – for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
  • Drama – for a distinguished play by an American playwright, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.
  • History – for a distinguished book on the history of the United States.
  • Biography or Autobiography – for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author.
  • Poetry – for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American poet.
  • General Non-Fiction – for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.

There is one prize given for music:

  • Pulitzer Prize for Music – for a distinguished musical contribution by an American that had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year.

There have been dozens of Special Citations and Awards: more than ten each in Arts, Journalism, and Letters, and five for Pulitzer Prize service, most recently to Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. in 1985.

In addition to the prizes, Pulitzer travelling fellowships are awarded to four outstanding students of the Graduate School of Journalism as selected by the faculty.

Changes to categories[edit]

Over the years, awards have been discontinued either because the field of the award has been expanded to encompass other areas, the award been renamed because the common terminology changed, or the award has become obsolete, such as the prizes for telegraphic reporting, which was based on the old technology of the telegram.

An example of a writing field that has been expanded was the former Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (awarded 1918–1947), which has been changed to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which also includes short stories, novellas, novelettes, and fictional poetry, as well as novels.

Chronology of Pulitzer Prize categories
10s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Current Categories
7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 Journalism
7 9 1 0 2 5 1 3 8 2 Editorial Writing
7 9 8 7 Reporting
7 0 5 0 Public Service
8 Newspaper History Award
2 3 6 0 5 3 Editorial Cartooning
9 7 Correspondence
2 7 Telegraphic Reporting - International
8 7 International Reporting
2 3 7 Telegraphic Reporting - National
8 1 National Reporting
2 7 Photography
8 Feature Photography
8 9 Spot News Photography
0 Breaking News Photography
5 0 Specialized Reporting
1 6 Beat Reporting
8 2 7 Local Reporting
3 3 Local Reporting - Edition time[a]
4 4 Local General or Spot News Reporting[a]
5 0 General News Reporting
1 7 Spot News Reporting
8 1 Breaking News Reporting
3 3 Local Reporting - No Edition time[a]
4 4 Local Investigative Specialized Reporting[a]
5 Investigative Reporting
0 Commentary
0 2 Criticism
9 4 Feature Writing
5 7 Explanatory Journalism
8 Explanatory Reporting
10s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Letters, drama, music
7 2 Biography or Autobiography
7 9 4 4 History
7 9 2 4 7 1 3 4 6 8 2 4 6 7 6 Drama
7 0 1 6 7 Novel
8 4 7 4 1 4 7 2 Fiction
2 6 Poetry
3 3 4 5 1 Music
2 General Nonfiction
10s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Others
Special Awards & Citations
7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 Current Categories
   awarded, category still exists (one small number marks the year since this category exists)
   awarded, category renamed (two small numbers marking the first and the last year this category existed under that name)
   awarded, category didn't exists anymore (two small numbers marking the first and the last year this category existed)
   not awarded, although there was a category in this year
  • The small single numbers mark the last digit of the year and are linked to the corresponding Pulitzer Prize article of that year.
  1. ^ a b c d It should be that Category Local Reporting - Edition time is renamed to Local General or Spot News Reporting and Local Reporting - No Edition time is renamed to Local Investigative Specialized Reporting. But it could be the other way too. Until now a citation is still needed.

Board[edit]

The 20-member board comprises major newspaper editors and executives and six academics including the president of Columbia University and the dean and administrator of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The administrator and the dean cannot vote. The board elects its own members for a three-year term (excluding the dean and the administrator). Members of the board and the juries are selected with close attention "given to professional excellence and affiliation, as well as diversity in terms of gender, ethnic background, geographical distribution and size of newspaper." Each year, the chair rotates to the most senior member.[12] The board makes all prize decisions.[2]

Controversies[edit]

Criticism and studies[edit]

Some critics of the Pulitzer Prize have accused the organization of favoring those who support liberal causes or oppose conservative causes. Syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell said that the Pulitzer Prize has a "liberal legacy", particularly in its prize for commentary.[15] He pointed to a 31-year period in which only five conservatives won prizes for commentary. The claim is also supported by a statement from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Kathleen Parker: "It's only because I'm a conservative basher that I'm now recognized."[16]

A 2012 academic study by journalism professor Yong Volz and Chinese University journalism professor Francis Lee found "that only 27% of Pulitzer winners since 1991 were females, while newsrooms are about 33% female."[17][18] The study concluded that the majority of female "winners enjoyed access to greater resources than the average male winner," resources including such things as attendance at Ivy League schools, metropolitan upbringing, or employment with an elite publication such as the New York Times.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to the administrators of the Pulitzer Prize, the correct pronunciation of the name should sound like the verb pull, as in "Pull it, sir".[1] The mistaken pronunciation /ˈpjuːlɨtsər/, starting off like pew, is quite common, and included in the major British and American dictionaries.
  2. ^ a b c d e Topping, Seymour (2008). "History of The Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved September 13, 2011.  Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler.
  3. ^ a b Topping, Seymour (2008). "Administration". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved January 31, 2013.  Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler.
  4. ^ "The Medal". Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Entry Form For a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism Pulitzer.org
  6. ^ Abad-Santos, Alexander (June 26, 2012). "Journalists, Please Stop Saying You Were 'Pulitzer Prize-Nominated'". what matters now (the Atlantic wire). 
  7. ^ Morris, James McGrath (2010). Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power. New York, NY: HarperCollins. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-06-079870-3. Retrieved Sep 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ Reardon, Patrick T (June 8, 1997). "A Parade of Pulitzers". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2013. for more than two decades [...] the Tribune refused to compete for the awards. 
  9. ^ Epstein, Joseph (August 1997). "The Colonel and the Lady". Commentary. p. 48. He viewed the Pulitzer Prize as a 'mutual admiration society,' and hence not to be taken seriously. 
  10. ^ a b "Pulitzer Board Widens Range of Online Journalism in Entries" (Press release). Pulitzer Prize Board. November 27, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Pulitzer Prizes Broadened to Include Online-Only Publications Primarily Devoted to Original News Reporting" (Press release). Pulitzer Prize Board. December 8, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ Topping, Seymour (2008). "Pulitzer biography". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved September 13, 2011.  Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler.
  13. ^ Hohenberg, John. The Pulitzer Diaries: Inside America's Greatest Prize. 1997. p. 109.
  14. ^ McDowell, Edwin. "Publishing: Pulitzer Controversies". The New York Times, May 11, 1984: C26.
  15. ^ Bozell, Brent (April 22, 2007). "Pulitzers' liberal legacy". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  16. ^ Hagey, Keach (October 4, 2010). "Kathleen Parker: 'Smallish-town girl' hits cable". Politico. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  17. ^ Yong Z. Volz; Francis LF Lee (August 30, 2012). "Who wins the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting? Cumulative advantage and social stratification in journalism". Journalism. doi:10.1177/1464884912455905. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ Kelly Burdick (October 18, 2012). "New study says women may need connections to win a Pulitzer". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Female Pulitzer Prize winners require higher qualifications, study finds". Phys.org. October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 

References[edit]

  • Auxier, George W. (March 1940). "Middle Western Newspapers and the Spanish American War, 1895–1898". Mississippi Valley Historical Review (Organization of American Historians) 26 (4): 523. doi:10.2307/1896320. JSTOR 1896320. 

External links[edit]