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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid