The Pulitzer Prize /ˈpʊlɪtsər/ is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (raised from $10,000 in 2017). The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
|2018 Pulitzer Prize|
Pulitzer prize for public service gold medal (designed by Daniel Chester French)
|Awarded for||Excellence in newspaper journalism, literary achievements, musical composition|
|Presented by||Columbia University|
The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically been entered. (There is a $75 entry fee, for each desired entry category.) Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance for being literary or musical. Works can also only be entered in a maximum of two categories, regardless of their properties.
Each year, 102 jurors are selected by the Pulitzer Prize Board to serve on 20 separate juries for the 21 award categories; one jury makes recommendations for both photography awards. Most juries consist of five members, except for those for Public Service, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Feature writing and Commentary categories, which have seven members; however all book juries have at least three members. For each award category, a jury makes three nominations. The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations or bypasses the nominations and selects a different entry following a 75% majority vote. The board can also vote to issue no award. The board and journalism jurors are not paid for their work; however, the jurors in letters, music, and drama receive a $2,000 honorarium for the year, and each chair receives $2,500.
Anyone whose work has been submitted is called an entrant. The jury selects a group of nominated finalists and announces them, together with the winner for each category. However, some journalists who were only submitted, but not nominated as finalists, still claim to be Pulitzer nominees in promotional material.
For example, Bill Dedman of msnbc.com (the recipient of the 1989 Investigative Reporting Prize) pointed out in 2012 that financial journalist Betty Liu was described as "Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" in her Bloomberg Television advertising and the jacket of her book, while National Review writer Jonah Goldberg made similar claims of "Pulitzer nomination" to promote his books. Dedman wrote, "To call that submission a Pulitzer 'nomination' is like saying that Adam Sandler is an Oscar nominee if Columbia Pictures enters That's My Boy in the Academy Awards. Many readers realize that the Oscars don't work that way—the studios don't pick the nominees. It's just a way of slipping 'Academy Awards' into a bio. The Pulitzers also don't work that way, but fewer people know that."
Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize. It allocated $250,000 to the prize and scholarships. He specified "four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships." After his death, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded June 4, 1917; they are now announced each April. The Chicago Tribune under the control of Colonel McCormick felt that the Pulitzer Prize was nothing more than a 'mutual admiration society' and not to be taken seriously; the paper refused to compete for the prize during McCormick's tenure up until 1961.
Nominally, the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service is awarded only to news organizations, not individuals. In rare instances, contributors to the entry are singled out in the citation in a manner analogous to individual winners. Journalism awards may be awarded to individuals or newspapers or newspaper staffs; infrequently, staff Prize citations also distinguish the work of prominent contributors.
Awards are made in categories relating to journalism, arts, letters and fiction. Reports and photographs by United States–based newspapers, magazines and news organizations (including news websites) that "[publish] regularly" are eligible for the journalism prize. Beginning in 2007, "an assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images." In December 2008 it was announced that for the first time content published in online-only news sources would be considered.
Although certain winners with magazine affiliations (most notably Moneta Sleet, Jr.) were allowed to enter the competition due to eligible partnerships or concurrent publication of their work in newspapers, the Pulitzer Prize Advisory Board and the Pulitzer Prize Board historically resisted the admission of magazines into the competition, resulting in the formation of the National Magazine Awards at the Columbia Journalism School in 1966.
In 2015, magazines were allowed to enter for the first time in two categories (Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing). By 2016, this provision had expanded to three additional categories (International Reporting, Criticism and Editorial Cartooning). That year, Kathryn Schulz (Feature Writing) and Emily Nussbaum (Criticism) of The New Yorker became the first magazine affiliates to receive the Prize under the expanded eligibility criterion.
In October 2016, magazine eligibility was extended to all journalism categories. Hitherto confined to the local reporting of breaking news, the Breaking News Reporting category was expanded to encompass all domestic breaking news events in 2017.
Definitions of Pulitzer Prize categories as presented in the December 2017 Plan of Award:
There are six categories in letters and drama:
There is one prize given for music:
In addition to the Prizes, Pulitzer Travelling Fellowships are awarded to four outstanding students of the Graduate School of Journalism as selected by the faculty.
Over the years, awards have been discontinued either because the field of the award has been expanded to encompass other areas; the award has been renamed because the common terminology changed; or the award has become obsolete, such as the prizes for telegraphic reporting.
An example of a writing field that has been expanded was the former Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (awarded 1918–1947), which has been changed to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which also includes short stories, novellas, novelettes, and poetry, as well as novels.
|8||Newspaper History Award||–|
|2||7||Telegraphic Reporting - International|
|2||3||7||Telegraphic Reporting - National|
|8||9||Spot News Photography|
|0||Breaking News Photography|
|3||3||Local Reporting - Edition time[a]|
|4||4||Local General or Spot News Reporting[a]|
|5||0||General News Reporting|
|1||7||Spot News Reporting|
|8||1||Breaking News Reporting|
|3||3||Local Reporting - No Edition time[a]|
|4||4||Local Investigative Specialized Reporting[a]|
|10s||1920s||1930s||1940s||1950s||1960s||1970s||1980s||1990s||2000s||2010s||Letters, drama, music|
|7||2||Biography or Autobiography|
|Special Awards & Citations|
awarded, category still exists (one small number marks the year since this category exists)
awarded, category renamed (two small numbers marking the first and the last year this category existed under that name)
awarded, category no longer exists (two small numbers marking the first and the last year this category existed)
not awarded, although there were nominees and a category in this year
The 19-member Pulitzer Prize Board convenes semiannually in the Joseph Pulitzer World Room at Columbia University's Pulitzer Hall. It comprises major editors, columnists and media executives in addition to six members drawn from academia and the arts, including the president of Columbia University, the dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the administrator of the Prizes, who serves as the Board's secretary. The administrator and the dean (who has served on the Board since 1976) participate in the deliberations as ex officio members but cannot vote. Aside from the president and dean (who serve as permanent members for the duration of their respective appointments) and the administrator (who is reelected annually), the Board elects its own members for a three-year term; members may serve a maximum of three terms. Members of the Board and the juries are selected with close attention "given to professional excellence and affiliation, as well as diversity in terms of gender, ethnic background, geographical distribution and size of news organization." The current administrator is former New York Times senior editor Dana Canedy, who contributed to the Times staff entry that received the 2001 National Reporting Prize.
Following the retirement of Joseph Pulitzer Jr. (a grandson of the endower who served as permanent chair of the Board for 31 years) in 1986, the chair has typically rotated to the most senior member (or members, in the case of concurrent elections) on an annual basis.
Since 1975, the Board has made all prize decisions; prior to this point, the Board's recommendations were ratified by a majority vote of the trustees of Columbia University. Although the administrator's office and staff are housed alongside the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia's Pulitzer Hall and several administrators have held faculty appointments at the School of Journalism, the Board and administration have been operationally separate from the School since 1950.:121
Some critics of the Pulitzer Prize have accused the organization of favoring those who support liberal causes or oppose conservative causes. Syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell said that the Pulitzer Prize has a "liberal legacy", particularly in its prize for commentary. He pointed to a 31-year period in which only five conservatives won prizes for commentary. The claim is also supported by a statement from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Kathleen Parker: "It's only because I'm a conservative basher that I'm now recognized."
A 2012 academic study by journalism professor Yong Volz and Chinese University journalism professor Francis Lee found "that only 27% of Pulitzer winners since 1991 were females, while newsrooms are about 33% female." The researchers concluded female winners were more likely to have traditional academic experience, such as attendance at Ivy League schools, metropolitan upbringing, or employment with an elite publication such as the New York Times. The findings suggest a higher level of training and connectedness are required for a female applicant to be awarded the prize, compared to male counterparts.
29. How is 'Pulitzer' pronounced? The correct pronunciation is 'PULL it sir.'
for more than two decades [...] the Tribune refused to compete for the awards.
He viewed the Pulitzer Prize as a 'mutual admiration society,' and hence not to be taken seriously.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. () is a New York publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, who was later acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, US. The Sunday edition is titled the Sunday Free Press. It is sometimes referred to as the "Freep" (reflected in the paper's web address, www.freep.com). It primarily serves Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Washtenaw, and Monroe counties.
The Free Press is also the largest city newspaper owned by Gannett, which also publishes USA Today. The Free Press has received ten Pulitzer Prizes and four Emmy Awards. Its motto is "On Guard for 188 Years".
In 2018, the Detroit Free Press has received two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is a U.S. daily newspaper serving Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the western half of the North Texas area known as the Metroplex. It is owned by The McClatchy Company.Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times (sometimes abbreviated as LA Times or L.A. Times) is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the fourth-largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the east coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. west coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.In the nineteenth century, the paper was known for its civic boosterism and opposition to unions, the latter of which led to the bombing of its headquarters in 1910. The paper's profile grew substantially in the 1960s under publisher Otis Chandler, who adopted a more national focus. In recent decades, the paper's readership has declined and it has been beset by a series of ownership changes, staff reductions, and other controversies. In January 2018, the paper's staff voted to unionize, and in July 2018 the paper moved out of its historic downtown headquarters to a facility near Los Angeles International Airport.Miami Herald
The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper owned by the McClatchy Company and headquartered in Doral, Florida, a city in western Miami-Dade County and the Miami metropolitan area, several miles west of downtown Miami. Founded in 1903, it is the second largest newspaper in South Florida, serving Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties. It also circulates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.Newsday
Newsday is an American daily newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island, although it is also sold throughout the New York metropolitan area. As of 2009, its weekday circulation of 377,500 was the 11th-highest in the United States, and the highest among suburban newspapers. In 2012, Newsday expanded to include Rockland and Westchester county news on its website. As of January 2014, Newsday's total average circulation was 437,000 on weekdays, 434,000 on Saturdays and 495,000 on Sundays.The newspaper's headquarters is in Melville, New York, in Suffolk County.Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
The Pulitzer Prize for Biography is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography, autobiography or memoir by an American author or co-authors, published during the preceding calendar year. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.Pulitzer Prize for Drama
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. (No Drama prize was given, however, so that one was inaugurated in 1918, in a sense.) It recognizes a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during the preceding calendar year.
Through 2006 the Drama Prize was unlike the majority of the other Pulitzer Prizes: during these years, the eligibility period for the drama prize ran from March 1 to March 2, to reflect the Broadway 'season' rather than the calendar year. The decision was made, however, that the 2007 Prize would consider works staged during an eligibility period of January 1 to December 31, 2006—thus bringing the schedule for the Drama Prize in line with those of the other prizes.
The drama jury, which consists of one academic and four critics, attends plays in New York and in regional theaters. The Pulitzer board has the authority to overrule the jury's choice, however, as happened in 1986 when the jury chose the CIVIL warS to receive the prize, but due to the board's opposition no award was given.
In 1955 Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. pressured the prize jury into presenting the Prize to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which the jury considered the weakest of the five shortlisted nominees ("amateurishly constructed... from the stylistic points of view annoyingly pretentious"), instead of Clifford Odets' The Flowering Peach (their preferred choice) or The Bad Seed, their second choice. Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was selected for the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by that award's committee. However, the committee's selection was overruled by the award's advisory board, the trustees of Columbia University, because of the play's then-controversial use of profanity and sexual themes. Had Albee been awarded, he would be tied with Eugene O'Neill for the most Pulitzer Prizes for Drama (four).Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning
The Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartoons is one of the fourteen Pulitzer Prizes that is annually awarded for Journalism. It has been awarded since 1922 for a distinguished editorial cartoon or portfolio of cartoons published during the year, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing, and pictorial effect.
Since 1980, finalists (usually two) have been announced in addition to the winner.Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. (No Novel prize was awarded in 1917; the first was awarded in 1918.)Finalists have been announced since 1980, ordinarily a total of three.Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
The Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author, published during the preceding calendar year, that is not eligible for consideration in another category.
Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.Pulitzer Prize for History
The Pulitzer Prize for History, administered by Columbia University, is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished book about the history of the United States. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. The Pulitzer Prize program has also recognized some historical work with its Biography prize, from 1917, and its General Non-Fiction prize, from 1952.
Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.Pulitzer Prize for Music
The Pulitzer Prize for Music is one of seven Pulitzer Prizes awarded annually in Letters, Drama, and Music. It was first given in 1943. Joseph Pulitzer arranged for a music scholarship to be awarded each year, and this was eventually converted into a prize: "For a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American that has had its first performance in the United States during the year." Because of the requirement that the composition have its world premiere during the year of its award, the winning work had rarely been recorded and sometimes had received only one performance. In 2004 the terms were modified to read, "For a distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year."Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1922 for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, published during the preceding calendar year.
Finalists have been announced since 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.Tampa Bay Times
The Tampa Bay Times, previously named the St. Petersburg Times through 2011, is an American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It has won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in its history, one of which was for its PolitiFact project. It is published by the Times Publishing Company, which is owned by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism school directly adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. Many issues are available through Google News Archive. A daily electronic version is also available for the Amazon Kindle and iPad.The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe (sometimes abbreviated as The Globe) is an American daily newspaper founded and based in Boston, Massachusetts, since its creation by Charles H. Taylor in 1872. The newspaper has won a total of 26 Pulitzer Prizes as of 2016, and with a total paid circulation of 245,824 from September 2015 to August 2016, it is the 25th most read newspaper in the United States. The Boston Globe is the oldest and largest daily newspaper in Boston.Founded in the late 19th century, the paper was mainly controlled by Irish Catholic interests before being sold to Charles H. Taylor and his family. After being privately held until 1973, it was sold to The New York Times in 1993 for $1.1 billion, making it one of the most expensive print purchases in U.S. history. The newspaper was purchased in 2013 by Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. owner John W. Henry for $70 million from The New York Times Company, having lost 93.64% of its value in twenty years.
Historically, the newspaper has been noted as "one of the nation’s most prestigious papers." The paper's coverage of the 2001–2003 Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal received international media attention and served as the basis of the 2015 American drama, Spotlight. In 1967, The Globe became the first major paper in the United States to come out against the Vietnam War.The chief print rival of The Boston Globe is the Boston Herald; however, The Globe is more than twice the size of the Boston Herald. As of 2013, The Globe prints and circulates the entire press run of its rival. The editor-in-chief, otherwise known as the editor, of the paper is Brian McGrory who took the helm in December 2012.The Charlotte Observer
The Charlotte Observer is a newspaper serving Charlotte and its metro area. It has the largest circulation in North Carolina and South Carolina. It is owned by The McClatchy Company.The Denver Post
The Denver Post is a daily newspaper and website that has been published in the Denver, Colorado area since 1892. As of March 2016, it has an average weekday circulation of 134,537 and Sunday circulation of 253,261. Its 2012-2013 circulation (416,676) made it the 9th highest in the US. The Denver Post receives roughly six million monthly unique visitors generating more than 13 million page views, according to comScore.The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Star is a newspaper based in Kansas City, Missouri. Published since 1880, the paper is the recipient of eight Pulitzer Prizes. The Star is most notable for its influence on the career of President Harry Truman and as the newspaper where a young Ernest Hemingway honed his writing style. It was also central to government-mandated divestiture of radio and television outlets by newspaper concerns in the late 1950s.