Could You Win The First Pulitzer Prize For Online Media?

Dec 8th, 2008 | By | Category: General, New Media Organizations

The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, which honor the work of American newspapers appearing in print, have been expanded to include many organizations that publish only on the Internet, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced today.

The Board has decided to allow entries made up entirely of online content to be submitted in all 14 Pulitzer journalism categories.

While this is an important milestone for online media, the Pulitzer board notes that “all entered material — whether online or in print — should come from United States newspapers or news organizations that publish at least weekly, that are ‘primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories,’ and that ‘adhere to the highest journalistic principles.’”

In other words – most new media journalists will be out of the running for Pulitzers.

Here’s Pulitzer’s explanation:

Consistent with its historic focus on daily and weekly newspapers, the Board will continue to exclude entries from printed magazines and broadcast media and their respective Web sites.

Is Pulitzer is a day late and a dollar short with this announcement?

When the news of the day is that the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times is declaring bankruptcy, does it make sense to define the future of your organization around traditional newspapers?

Traditional geographic boundaries and organizational structures don’t define or limit media as they once did. The most important stories of 2009 could be broken by the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times – but they are more likely to break in the world of new media. 

You’re not going to get a Pulitzer anytime soon for your blog, your podcast or your video podcast.

But that doesn’t make what you do less relevant. It makes the Pulitzer prize less relevant.

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