Webifying the Pulitzer

Posted on December 1, 2006 
Filed Under Journalism

The Pulitzer board has finally acknowledged that the web exists. It’s allowing for new media and multimedia entries for the award, calling it “blended journalism”, and in a swift stroke suggesting there’s something impure and bastardish about mixing media to tell a better story for the 21st century.

NEW YORK — The board in charge of the Pulitzer Prize announced Monday that newspapers will be allowed to submit video and interactive graphics in nearly every category for the first time, reflecting the changing reality of how news is presented online.

Allowing more online material “was the next logical step,” said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzers, the top award in American print journalism. “It emphasizes blended journalism and that’s where newspapers are today.”

Online material was allowed to be part of all entries for the first time this year, but was restricted in 13 of 14 categories to written stories or still images. The exception was the Public Service category, which has allowed material such as streaming video and databases since 1999.

For the 2007 Pulitzers, newspapers can submit online material like video, blogs, databases and interactive graphics for all print categories.

The photography categories remain restricted to still images. In the categories of breaking news reporting and breaking news photography, the board will continue to allow entries to consist solely of work published online. Other categories must include some material from the newspaper’s print edition.

The Pulitzer Prize Board also replaced the Beat Reporting category created in 1991 with a Local Reporting category.

Creating the Local Reporting category “places particular emphasis on local news coverage, which is really the lifeblood of newspapers both in print and online,” Gissler said. Entries can either be a special project or sustained coverage of city, state or regional issues that matter to the paper’s core readership, Gissler said.

Beat reporters are still eligible to submit their work in other categories.

The 2007 Pulitzer Prizes, for work done in 2006, will be announced April 16.

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