News Buried Amongst the Boston Bombing Rubble: 2013 Pulitzer Prizes Announced

pulitzer_logoPosted by Selchia Cain 

On Monday while the winners of the Pulitzer Prizes where announced, journalist where capturing moments and reporting on what could transform into an award winning story next year.

The Boston bombing tragedy over shadowed much of the news. In the midst of America grieving over yet another public assault on innocent people we missed the announcement of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalist.

The Pulitzer Prize has been “honoring excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.” It is the highest honors a reporter, photographer, artist or publication can receive. This year the New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes. Taking the categories in, Explanatory Reporting “for its penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies that illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers.” They also won in International Reporting, exposing the government corruption of China.  And in Investigative Reporting on Wal-mart and Feature Writing for a narrative piece about skiers killed in an avalanche integrated with multimedia elements.

Each year the there are 14 journalism categories. And there are 7 categories in arts of letters, drama and music. Although there is not always an annual winner selected for each category. In 2012 the Pulitzer board decided not to award a fiction prize. Leaving the publishing industry on the edge of their seats this year closely watching for who would win the fiction award.  The award went to “The Orphan Master’s Son.” And this year there were two finalist: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” by Nathan Englander, and “The Snow Child,” by Eowyn Ivey.

It is almost ironic how the staff of The Denver Post won for Breaking News Reporting on the Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting on the day of yet another tragedy. Even earlier Raquel blogged about challenging photojournalism ethics and the photo she used as an example won for Breaking News Photography.

This year the Pulitzer Prize award luncheon will be in May at the Low Library,
Columbia University
New York City. The annual luncheons began in 1984. Prior to that time Pulitzer Prize certificates, medals and checks were sent in the mail.

Going back to “Coaching Writers” and remembering that, writers get the byline and the glory. Editors toil in anonymity. Do you still feel the same as an editor knowing that your writer just won $10,000 for their work while all you can do is clap behind the curtain as they receive their award on stage? Also is winning a Pulitzer ever a dream you personally would like to become a reality?

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5 responses to “News Buried Amongst the Boston Bombing Rubble: 2013 Pulitzer Prizes Announced

  1. I think that editor’s again must swallow their pride when a writer wins a Pulitzer Prize. Editor’s role is important but they don’t do the reporting to get the interviews and information. There are also potential for editors to gain recognition amongst their peers and coworkers even if their name is not written on the award.

    Based on the career path that I plan on taking, winning the Pulitzer Prize is not a goal I have set for myself. Corporate communications employees are not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning candidates.

  2. It would be hard to be an editor that helped the writer in a situation like this. After all the editor probably worked on the stories that won with their writers for a long time and agonized over them like the writers did too. Although I think the editor’s job is very important and necessary in every writing and reporting situation, I think the writers do deserve to win the Pulitzer. They do all of the reporting and actually writing of the story, so I think it is their award to win. I would hope, though, that any editor would be proud of their writer if they won something this huge. They should also be proud of themselves because they helped the writer achieve the award. A good editor would be happy for their writer.

  3. This is tough, I would just say that editors have to swallow their pride like Monica said. Editors are SO important, but they would be nothing if it weren’t for the writers. Editors make the piece great, but the writers pour blood, sweat and tears into the meat of the story. With that, editors should be proud that a writer they personally worked with is getting awarded!
    I am personally not interested in winning a Pulitzer because writing is not my passion, but that’s not to say that if I did win one by some chance that I wouldn’t be extremely happy about it!

  4. I learned a lot from this post, but you’re right in that The Pulitzers raise a lot of questions. Honestly, I don’t think most writers or editors enter the profession to win awards, I know that’s not why I want to be a journalist. I think if you’re talented, and perhaps lucky, enough to be awarded a Pulitzer, it’s a nice perk and great validation for the writer, editor, and publication. Just like with awards in other fields, there’s always a team behind the scenes who’s not explicitly credited with the award, but who nonetheless play a role in the work. At the Oscars, for instance, an actor is the one who wins an award even though they were guided along the way by the director who acts as an editor for the actor’s performance.

    Just because an editor’s name isn’t on the award, it doesn’t lessen their impact on the story. And in the end, no part of journalism is really about awards. Although it’s nice to be recognized, writers, editors, and the whole newsroom staff staff work together to create the best product they can for the one audience that really matters — the public.

  5. You all are extremely humble editors. I’m glad that you found my post informative Abby. It seems like most of you all aren’t really aspiring to be reporters so much as you all want to go into other fields such as corporate communications. But you all expressed the true importance of editors regardless of awards.

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