Pulitzer Prize

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Pulitzer Prize
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{{Use American English|date = September 2019}}{{Use mdy dates|date=October 2018}}

}}The Pulitzer Prize ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|p|ʊ|l|ᵻ|t|s|ər}}WEB,weblink FAQ, Pulitzer Prizes, 24. How is 'Pulitzer' pronounced? The correct pronunciation is 'PULL it sir.', April 15, 2019, The pronunciation {{IPAc-en|ˈ|p|juː|l|ᵻ|t|s|ər}} {{respell|PEW|lit|sər}}, even if considered mistaken, is quite common, and included in the major British and American dictionaries.) is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine 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) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (raised from $10,000 in 2017).WEB, Pulitzer Board raises prize award to $15,000,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University, January 13, 2017, January 3, 2017, The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.WEB, Topping, Seymour, Seymour Topping, 2008,weblink Administration, The Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University, January 31, 2013, Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler.WEB,weblink The Medal, Pulitzer Prizes, January 31, 2013,

Entry and prize consideration

The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically been entered.Entry Form For a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (There is a $75 entry fee, 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. Works can also only be entered in a maximum of two categories, regardless of their properties.Each year, 102 jurors are selected by the Pulitzer Prize Board to serve on 20 separate juries for the 21 award categories; one jury makes recommendations for both photography awards. Most juries consist of five members, except for those for Public Service, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Feature writing and Commentary categories, which have seven members; however all book juries have at least three members. For each award category, a jury makes three nominations. The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations or bypasses the nominations and selects a different entry following a 75 percent majority vote. The board can also vote to issue no award. The board and journalism jurors are not paid for their work; however, the jurors in letters, music, and drama receive a $2,000 honorarium for the year, and each chair receives $2,500.

Difference between entrants and nominated finalists

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 and authors who were only submitted, but not nominated as finalists, still claim to be Pulitzer nominees in promotional material.The Pulitzer board has cautioned entrants against claiming to be nominees. The Pulitzer Prize web site’s frequently asked questions section describes their policy as follows: "Nominated Finalists are selected by the Nominating Juries for each category as finalists in the competition. The Pulitzer Prize Board generally selects the Pulitzer Prize Winners from the three nominated finalists in each category. The names of nominated finalists have been announced only since 1980. Work that has been submitted for Prize consideration but not chosen as either a nominated finalist or a winner is termed an entry or submission. No information on entrants is provided. Since 1980, when we began to announce nominated finalists, we have used the term 'nominee' for entrants who became finalists. We discourage someone saying he or she was 'nominated' for a Pulitzer simply because an entry was sent to us."Frequently Asked Questions-The Pulitzer PrizesBill Dedman of NBC News, the recipient of the 1989 investigative reporting prize, 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."NEWS,weblink Journalists, Please Stop Saying You Were 'Pulitzer Prize-Nominated', what matters now, the Atlantic wire, Alexander, Abad-Santos, June 26, 2012, Nominally, the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service is awarded only to news organizations, not individuals. In rare instances, contributors to the entry are singled out in the citation in a manner analogous to individual winners.WEB, The 2000 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Public Service: The Washington Post, notably for the work of Katherine Boo,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes, March 4, 2017, WEB, The 1996 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Public Service: The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), for the work of Melanie Sill, Pat Stith and Joby Warrick,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes, March 4, 2017, Journalism awards may be awarded to individuals or newspapers or newspaper staffs; infrequently, staff Prize citations also distinguish the work of prominent contributors.WEB, The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Local Reporting: Detroit Free Press Staff, and notably Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes, March 4, 2017,


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.BOOK, Morris, James McGrath, Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power,weblink Sep 12, 2011, 2010, HarperCollins, New York, NY, 978-0-06-079870-3, 461, He specified "four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships."WEB, Topping, Seymour, History of The Pulitzer Prizes,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University, September 13, 2011, Seymour Topping, 2008, Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler. After his death on October 29, 1911, 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.NEWS,weblink A Parade of Pulitzers, Patrick T, Reardon, June 8, 1997, April 27, 2013, Chicago Tribune, for more than two decades [...] the Tribune refused to compete for the awards., WEB, The Colonel and the Lady, Joseph, Epstein, Joseph Epstein (writer), August 1997, Commentary (magazine), Commentary, 48,weblink He viewed the Pulitzer Prize as a 'mutual admiration society,' and hence not to be taken seriously.,



{{Pulitzer}}Awards are made in categories relating to journalism, arts, letters and fiction. Reports and photographs by United States–based newspapers, magazines and news organizations (including news websites) that "[publish] regularly"WEB, 2017 Journalism Submission Guidelines, Requirements and FAQs,weblink The Pulitzer Prize Board, March 4, 2017, 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."PRESS RELEASE
, Pulitzer Board Widens Range of Online Journalism in Entries
, Pulitzer Prize Board
, November 27, 2006
, April 12, 2010,
In December 2008, it was announced that for the first time content published in online-only news sources would be considered.PRESS RELEASE
, Pulitzer Prizes Broadened to Include Online-Only Publications Primarily Devoted to Original News Reporting
, Pulitzer Prize Board
, December 8, 2008
, April 12, 2010,
Although certain winners with magazine affiliations (most notably Moneta Sleet, Jr.) were allowed to enter the competition due to eligible partnerships or concurrent publication of their work in newspapers, the Pulitzer Prize Advisory Board and the Pulitzer Prize Board historically resisted the admission of magazines into the competition, resulting in the formation of the National Magazine Awards at the Columbia Journalism School in 1966.In 2015, magazines were allowed to enter for the first time in two categories (Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing). By 2016, this provision had expanded to three additional categories (International Reporting, Criticism and Editorial Cartooning).PRESS RELEASE, October 26, 2015, Expanded eligibility for three journalism categories,weblink Pulitzer Prize Board, March 4, 2017, That year, Kathryn Schulz (Feature Writing) and Emily Nussbaum (Criticism) of The New Yorker became the first magazine affiliates to receive the Prize under the expanded eligibility criterion.WEB, 2016 Pulitzer Prizes,weblink Pulitzer Prize Board, March 4, 2017, In October 2016, magazine eligibility was extended to all journalism categories.PRESS RELEASE, October 18, 2016, Pulitzer Prizes open all journalism categories to magazines,weblink Pulitzer Prize Board, March 4, 2017, Hitherto confined to the local reporting of breaking news, the Breaking News Reporting category was expanded to encompass all domestic breaking news events in 2017.WEB,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes,, April 17, 2018, Definitions of Pulitzer Prize categories as presented in the December 2017 Plan of Award:WEB,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes,, April 17, 2018,
  • Public Service â€“ for a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper, magazine or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material. Often thought of as the grand prize, and mentioned first in listings of the journalism prizes, the Public Service award is only given to the winning news organization. Alone among the Pulitzer Prizes, it is awarded in the form of a gold medal.
  • Breaking News Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of local, state or national reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates, provides context and expands upon the initial coverage.
  • Investigative Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of investigative reporting, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Explanatory Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Local Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise, using any available journalistic tool.
  • National Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs, using any available journalistic tool.
  • International Reporting â€“ for a distinguished example of reporting on international affairs, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Feature Writing â€“ for distinguished feature writing giving prime consideration to quality of writing, originality and concision, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Commentary â€“ for distinguished commentary, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Criticism â€“ for distinguished criticism, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Editorial Writing â€“ for distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, using any available journalistic tool.
  • Editorial Cartooning â€“ for a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing and pictorial effect, published as a still drawing, animation or both.
  • Breaking News Photography, previously called Spot News Photography â€“ for a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs.
  • Feature Photography â€“ for a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs.
There are six categories in letters and drama:
  • Fiction â€“ for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
  • Drama â€“ for a distinguished play by an American playwright, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.
  • History â€“ for a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States.
  • Biography or Autobiography â€“ for a distinguished biography, autobiography or memoir by an American author.
  • Poetry â€“ for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American poet.
  • General Non-Fiction â€“ for a distinguished and appropriately documented 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 â€“ for distinguished musical composition by an American that has 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 1987.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

Over the years, awards have been discontinued either because the field of the award has been expanded to encompass other areas; the award has been renamed because the common terminology changed; or the award has become obsolete, such as the prizes for telegraphic reporting.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 poetry, as well as novels.{{Chronology of Pulitzer Prize categories}}


The 19-member Pulitzer Prize BoardPRESS RELEASE, May 30, 2016, Elizabeth Alexander elected to Pulitzer Prize Board,weblink Pulitzer Prize Board, March 4, 2017, convenes semiannually in the Joseph Pulitzer World Room at Columbia University's Pulitzer Hall. It comprises major editors, columnists and media executives in addition to six members drawn from academia and the arts, including the president of Columbia University, the dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the administrator of the Prizes, who serves as the Board's secretary. The administrator and the dean (who has served on the Board since 1976) participate in the deliberations as ex officio members but cannot vote. Aside from the president and dean (who serve as permanent members for the duration of their respective appointments) and the administrator (who is reelected annually), the Board elects its own members for a three-year term; members may serve a maximum of three terms. 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 news organization." The current administrator is former New York Times senior editor Dana Canedy, who contributed to the Times staff entry that received the 2001 National Reporting Prize.WEB,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes,, April 17, 2018, WEB,weblink The Pulitzer Prizes,, April 17, 2018, Following the retirement of Joseph Pulitzer Jr. (a grandson of the endower who served as permanent chair of the Board for 31 years) in 1986, the chair has typically rotated to the most senior member (or members, in the case of concurrent elections) on an annual basis.WEB,weblink Biography of Joseph Pulitzer, Seymour, Topping, Seymour Topping, The Pulitzer Prizes, May 16, 2017, Updated 2013 by Sig Gissler.Since 1975, the Board has made all prize decisions; prior to this point, the Board's recommendations were ratified by a majority vote of the trustees of Columbia University. Although the administrator's office and staff are housed alongside the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia's Pulitzer Hall and several administrators have held faculty appointments at the School of Journalism, the Board and administration have been operationally separate from the School since 1950.BOOK, Boylan, James, June 2003, Pulitzer's School: Columbia University's School of Journalism, 1903-2003, 704692556, Columbia University Press, New York,weblink Google Books, March 4, 2017, {{rp|121}}


  • Call for revocation of journalist Walter Duranty's 1932 Pulitzer Prize.
  • Call for revocation of journalist William L. Laurence's 1946 Pulitzer Prize.
  • 1941 Novel Prize: The Advisory Board elected to overrule the jury and recommended For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. However, Columbia University president Nicholas Murray Butler implored the committee to reconsider, citing the potential association between the University and the novel's frank sexual content; instead, no award was given.{{rp|118}} Twelve years later, Hemingway was awarded the 1953 Fiction Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
  • 1962 Biography Prize: Citizen Hearst: A Biography of William Randolph Hearst by W. A. Swanberg was recommended by the jury and Advisory Board but overturned by the trustees of Columbia University (then charged with final ratification of the Prizes) because its subject, Hearst, was not an "eminent example of the biographer's art as specified in the prize definition."Hohenberg, John. The Pulitzer Diaries: Inside America's Greatest Prize. 1997. p. 109.
  • 1974 Fiction Prize: Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon was recommended by the three-member fiction jury but the Advisory Board overturned that decision and no award was given by the trustees.McDowell, Edwin. "Publishing: Pulitzer Controversies". The New York Times, May 11, 1984: C26.
  • Shortly after receiving a Special Citation for (Roots: The Saga of an American Family) in the spring of 1977, Alex Haley was charged with plagiarism in separate lawsuits by Harold Courlander and Margaret Walker Alexander. Courlander, an anthropologist and novelist, charged that Roots was copied largely from his novel The African (1967). Walker claimed that Haley had plagiarized from her Civil War-era novel Jubilee (1966). Legal proceedings in each case were concluded late in 1978. Courlander's suit was settled out of court for $650,000 (equivalent to ${{Inflation|US|0.650|1978|r=1}} million in {{Inflation-year|US}}) and an acknowledgment from Haley that certain passages within Roots were copied from The African.NEWS, Fein, Esther B., Book Notes, The New York Times,weblink March 3, 1993, February 12, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2007, yes, mdy-all, Walker's case was dismissed by the court, which, in comparing the content of Roots with that of Jubilee, found that "no actionable similarities exist between the works."(1978, September 21). "Judge Rules "Roots" Original", Associated Press(1978, September 22). "Suit against Alex Haley is dismissed", United Press International
  • Forfeiture of Janet Cooke's 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for story fabrication.
  • 1994 History Prize: Gerald Posner's Case Closed; Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, Lawrence Friedman's Crime and Punishment in American History and Joel Williamson's William Faulkner and Southern History were nominated unanimously for the award; however, no award was given.Complete Historical Handbook of the Pulitzer Prize System 1917-2000: Decision-Making Processes in all Award Categories Based on Unpublished Sources, by Heinz D. Fischer and Erika J. Fischer, The Pulitzer Prize Archive, Walter de Gruyer, 2003, p. 325 The decision not to give an award to one of the three books created a public controversy. One of the 19 members of the Pulitzer Board, John Dotson, said that all of the three nominated books were "flawed in some way.""Pulitzer Decision Angers Juror Ignoring Nominations, Panel Didn't Know History Prize," San Jose Mercury News, April 23, 1994, p. 2B But another Board member, Edward Seaton, editor of the Manhattan Mercury, disagreed, saying it was "unfortunate" that no award had been given.
  • 2010 Drama Prize: The Tony-winning musical Next to Normal received the awardWEB,weblink Next to Normal, Music Theater International, May 12, 2019, despite not having been among the jury-provided nominees.NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2010, unknown, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 15, 2010, mdy-all, WEB, Robert Simonson,weblink's Theatre Week In Review, April 10-April 16: The Pulitzer Paradox, Playbill, April 16, 2010, May 16, 2017, Robert, Simonson,

Criticism and studies

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.NEWS
,weblink" title="">weblink
, yes
, January 31, 2013
, Pulitzers' liberal legacy
, Bozell
, Brent
, April 22, 2007
, October 14, 2010
, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
, 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."NEWS
, Kathleen Parker: 'Smallish-town girl' hits cable
, Hagey
, Keach
, Politico (newspaper), Politico
, October 4, 2010
, October 14, 2010,
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."JOURNAL, Who wins the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting? Cumulative advantage and social stratification in journalism, Journalism, Yong Z. Volz, Francis LF Lee, August 30, 2012, 10.1177/1464884912455905, October 18, 2012,weblink WEB,weblink New study says women may need connections to win a Pulitzer, Melville House Publishing, Kelly Burdick, October 18, 2012, October 18, 2012, The researchers concluded female winners were more likely to have traditional academic experience, such as attendance at Ivy League schools, metropolitan upbringing, or employment with an elite publication such as the New York Times.WEB,weblink Female Pulitzer Prize winners require higher qualifications, study finds,, October 18, 2012, October 18, 2012, The findings suggest a higher level of training and connectedness are required for a female applicant to be awarded the prize, compared to male counterparts.

See also





FIRST=GEORGE W., Middle Western Newspapers and the Spanish–American War, 1895–1898, Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 26, March 1940, 1896320, 10.2307/1896320, 523, 4, Organization of American Historians,

External links

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