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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid