Book publishers, a ‘Times’ editor, a ‘Post’ editorial, and the usual cranks have much to say about the Pulitzers
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The aftermath of the announcement of the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes always provokes a bit of controversy at the margins, and the winners announced yesterday were no exception.
Visible among this year's crop of victors were some agents of disruption: A young online titan who rose up to snatch the coveted national reporting prize from the legacy outlets to which it is often awarded; a small but influential Seattle title reasserting the feature-writing potential of alt-weeklies; a 24-year-old who defied the daily newspaper pecking order by becoming one of the youngest Pulitzer recipients in history.
And there was even some insurgency within the newsroom of at least one perennial Pulitzer champ.
"An example of Jeffrey @Gettleman's independent spirit in covering Africa? NYT Foreign Editor Joe Kahn noted he nominated himself for the Pulitzer" in international reporting, New YorK Times deputy foreign editor Marc Lacey tweeted yesterday.
“Some reporters might have felt his editors knew best,” said Kahn in a newsroom speech yesterday, according to the paper's own report. “Jeffrey put himself forward for the Pulitzers — and for that, Jeffrey, bless your heart.”
Of course in so doing, Gettleman may have edged out some of his colleagues on the foreign desk, including those who were nominated as finalists for their "powerful exploration of serious mistakes concealed by authorities in Japan after a tsunami and earthquake devastated the nation, and caused a nuclear disaster," as the Pulitzer press materials put it. (We also hear the paper nominated Anthony Shadid, who died of an apparent allergic reaction earlier this year while covering the uprising in Syria.)
Elsewhere on the Pulitzer front: Arianna Huffington and Tim O'Brien discuss what The Huffington Post's breakthrough win means for the evolving website, while the Columbia Journalism Review takes advantage of the buzz by putting Michael Shapiro's forthcoming cover story about the history of The Huffington Post online.
The just-sold Philadelphia Inquirer hopes that its Pulitzer for public service "signals a new beginning." Book publishers are "fuming" over the Pulitzer board's snub in the fiction category. And, predictably, The New York Post has joined several local politcians in blasting the awards for honoring a high-profile Associated Press series about the NYPD's controversial Muslim surveillance program.
"Let the AP toast an ill-gotten prize that actually says more about mainstream journalism than about the NYPD," reads an editorial in today's edition.
Discussing the fact that his paper hasn't won a Pulitzer since 1931, Post editor Col Allan said in a 2007 New York magazine feature: "Who would want to win an award that is dished out by the hard left of American journalism?"
He was referring to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, which administers the prizes. Since 2002, it has done so under the direction of Columbia J-school professor Sig Gissler, who described 2012 as a "transformational year" for the Pulitzers during a press event.
In case you've ever wondered what it looks like when the winners are announced, here's a video we shot of yesterday's big reveal:
In other news...
"Good Morning America" nudged "Today" from the top morning ratings slot after 16 years. [NYT/Media Decoder]
Michael Hastings gets some inside dish about Chelsea Clinton's dud of a gig at NBC. [BuzzFeed]
Jeff Bercovici explains why journalism is "the best job ever." [Forbes/Mixed Media]
Rupert Murdoch vs. Sir Harold Evans, the movie. [The Guardian]
Which New York Times executive used to be a newspaper reporter who racked up a massive phone bill on calls to Chile? [The New York Observer]
The Times has revamped its online Well section. [press release]
Gannett's earnings were down 25 percent in the last quarter. [A.P.]
Read It Later has relaunced as a free app called Pocket. [paidContent]
The New York Post recently added a laid-off Daily News alum. [Fishbowl NY]