J-School: Educating Independent Journalists

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Pulitzer Rules Board: Fail. Sam Zell: Epic Fail (Updated)

Posted by chanders on December 8, 2008

Is it just me, or do the Pulitzer Prize board’s new rules only demonstrate that they a) are still behind the times and b) don’t really get it?

Oh well. Perhaps they are worried that, by award time, there will be no newspapers left.

Update: OK, in fairness to the Pulitzer Board, I’ve since gone over and looked at their actual rule page and the accompanying Q and A. The Editor and Publisher story is a bit muddled, and I am a little less concerned now that I’ve read the official rules themselves.

That said, I still think the major problem is the Committee’s focus on media type (especially their distinction between magazine and newspaper reporting, for instance); to wit: “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.” It seems like the Pulitzer Committee’s focus is– rightly– on original reporting. So why not make that the focus, rather than on frequency of publication?

I also understand that the Committee might be worried about the real administrative hassle which might arise from throwing the gates entirely open. Here’s a thought– why not create a special category for “best crowsourced /crowdfunded / citizen reporting,” and then let the judges include the crowd themselves? Outsource part of the judging to “the denizens of the web,” and let them pick a prize. It would be an interesting experiment, anyway.

Crazy, I know. When that happens, the barbarians will truly have stormed the gates.


One Response to “Pulitzer Rules Board: Fail. Sam Zell: Epic Fail (Updated)”

  1. Erestwrorne said

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

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