News / USA

For 98th Year, American Journalism’s Best Lauded with Pulitzers

Pulitzer prize administrator Sig Gissler announces the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners at Columbia University in New York, April 14, 2014.
Pulitzer prize administrator Sig Gissler announces the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners at Columbia University in New York, April 14, 2014.
Adam Phillips
The winners of the 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday by Columbia University in New York City. A Pulitzer, as it is known, is the most prestigious award in American journalism.
 
An atmosphere of excitement and collegiality prevailed in the wood-paneled conference room, filled with journalists, where Sig Gissler, the administrator and public face of the Pulitzer Prize Board, announced this year’s honorees.
  
In an unusual step, two news organizations, The Washington Post and Guardian US, the American version of Britain's Guardian newspaper, were separately honored with the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service this year. Each was cited for their coverage of the controversy involving surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency and for promoting public debate about it. Gissler spoke at length about the “watchdog function” of journalism, which strives to hold public institutions and private corporations accountable.
 
“Other stories deal with the denial of black lung benefits to miners - that was the Center for Public Integrity - and housing abuses among the homeless that the Tampa Bay Times spotlighted [and] mistreatment of the wounded Army veterans, which was the focus of the Colorado Gazette’s stories,” said Gissler.
 
In 2009, the Pulitzer Board broke with its longstanding reliance on traditional newspaper journalism and began to include prizes for digital and multimedia reporting.
 
“We’ve done a lot to try to encourage a full range of multimedia material - videos, slide shows, interactive graphics, things like that. These are of increasing importance throughout the competition. In fact, seven of our winning entries in pubic service, breaking news reporting, investigative, national reporting, breaking news photography and feature photography, all are cases where digital content played a major role,” said Gissler.
 
Still, Gissler acknowledged what most of the journalists in the room already knew: these can be challenging times to practice their craft.
  
“… But I think the winners and the finalists all provide heartening examples of the high quality journalism you can find across the country. In fact, when the jurors come to this room for three days of judging every year, they leave inspired and rededicated. My favorite quote was from one juror who, after reading the entries, said ‘this is food for the soul,’” said Gissler.
 
There are Pulitzer Prize categories for best feature photography, best commentary, best editorial, best editorial cartoon and best criticism. There also are Pulitzers awarded for music, poetry, drama, biography, history and fiction - won this year by Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch.
 
Gissler told VOA the Pulitzer puts journalism and the other arts on an equal footing.
   
"That’s one of the wonderful distinctions of the Pulitzer Prizes, because when you win as a journalist you are also in the company of great authors and great composers. And when you win a Pulitzer Prize you really enter the aristocracy of American excellence,” said Gissler.
 
This year’s Pulitzer Prize winners and their guests will be honored at a special awards luncheon to be hosted at Columbia University late next month.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More