Pulitzer Prize now open to online investigative reporters and feature writers

9 Dec 2014

The top prize for US-based journalists, the Pulitzer Prize, has expanded its entry criteria to include investigative journalists and feature writers from the world of online media.

Previously the domain of print, this shift in the Pulitzer Prize reflects the growth in online news reporting and, indeed, news readership.

Consistent with its historical focus on text-based journalism, it will continue to place emphasis on the enduring value of words and of serious reporting, “while also recognising the opportunity provided by the web for integration of text with audio and visual elements to strengthen story-telling and provide information and analysis,” the board behind the awards said in a statement.

Previously, the Pulitzer Prize competition barred media that identified themselves as magazines, either in print or on the web. The decision to allow them to enter followed the Pulitzer Prize board’s recognition that many magazines, digital and print, have newly entered the realm of daily and weekly journalism.

“(Newspaper publisher Joseph) Pulitzer’s aim was the progress and elevation of journalism,” said Pulitzer Prize administrator Mike Pride.

“He envisioned that future generations would make changes in the plan of award for the prizes that are ‘conducive to the public good or rendered advisable by public necessities, or by reason of change of time.’ Increasingly, online and print magazines have expanded their mission. It’s time to enlarge the tent again.”

“Media convergence has generated exciting new possibilities for journalism,” said Danielle Allen, chair of the board.

“We recognise that great reporting and writing is today reaching American audiences in new formats and new channels. We support efforts to use cross-media partnerships, new platforms and new tools to strengthen the cause of journalism.

“After a considered review and discussion, we are adopting these changes in a spirit of experimentation, rooted in a commitment to the enduring values of great journalism. We have chosen to focus our evolution on investigative reporting because of its relevance to public life and feature writing because of its emphasis on literary merit.”

Pulitzer website image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic