Friday, April 24, 2009

Expert on Pulitzers says prizes must better recognize online journalism

Roy J. Harris Jr., author of a fine tome about "the most prestigious of the Pulitzers," thinks the time has come to "reinvent" the prizes, albeit without lifting their "bar" on citizen journalism.

From yesterday's Christian Science Monitor:
[I]f the Pulitzers recognized excellence across a wider range of print and electronic content, they could help lift journalism once more. . . .

[O]ne way to break the ice is to create special categories for online entries. But Pulitzer purists blanch at the idea, noting that over the years categories have been drawn to consider the quality of the work, rather than its source. A more sensible approach – one that points the way to the Pulitzers' 21st-century standard of excellence for all text-based journalism – is to broaden eligibility further, to all US online news operations, regardless of affiliation. That would allow magazine and broadcast-based online reporters to compete, too, while still letting the Pulitzers hold the line (for now) at barring citizen journalism, such as blogs and photos taken by individuals on a cellphone.
Also see: Pulitzers, a humbling experience for Internet journalists
And: Tabloid Baby piqued Pulitzer entry was rejected

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