1. Lobbying jurors won’t help. The names of the jurors are kept confidential to protect them from being lobbied by entrants. In past years, an established group of journalists who jokingly called themselves “the cabal,” according to Poynter, would extract the names of the winners from the judges, but for the past two years, the Pulitzer organization has been holding them to their written secrecy pledges.
3. Only finalists are referred to as “nominees.” This year, Oscar made room for five more Best Picture nominees, allowing even more filmmakers to attach “Academy Award-nominated” to their list of accolades, but don’t look to the Pulitzer organization for vanity titles. Only two runners-up in each category will get to say they were Pulitzer-Prize nominated. For the record, there are 14 awards in the journalism category, seven in the “letters” category and one music award.
4. No fancy celebration. Since 1984, Pulitzer winners have received their prizes from the president of Columbia University at a modest luncheon in May in the rotunda of the Low Library in the presence of family members, professional associates, board members and the faculty of the School of Journalism. The Pulitzer organization has declined offers to transform the occasion into a television extravaganza.
5. Mediocrity is not rewarded. The board is not above leaving some categories “unawarded” if they believe that of the 1,000 or so entries, there is no clear winner. In 2008, for example, it gave no prize in Editorial Writing, and in 2004 left Feature Writing unawarded, suggesting that the board was seeking to improve the quality in those genres.
This year’s winners will be posted at 3 p.m. at http://www.pulitzer.org. Of course we’ll have the news for you right here, and we’ll be especially interested in the public service award.
Read the Rest at – 5 Things You Need to Know About the Pulitzer – Tonic.
Public Service – Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier
Breaking News Reporting – The Seattle Times Staff
Investigative Reporting – Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News and Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine
Explanatory Reporting – Michael Moss and members of The New York Times Staff
Local Reporting – Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
National Reporting – Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times Staff
International Reporting – Anthony Shadid of The Washington Post
Feature Writing – Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post
Commentary – Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post
Criticism – Sarah Kaufman of The Washington Post
Editorial Writing – Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson and William McKenzie of The Dallas Morning News
Editorial Cartooning – Mark Fiore, self syndicated, appearing on SFGate.com
Breaking News Photography – Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register
Feature Photography – Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post
Letters, Drama and Music
Fiction – Tinkers by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press)
Drama – Next to Normal, music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
History – Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed (The Penguin Press)
Biography – The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)
Poetry – Versed by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press)
General Nonfiction – The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman (Doubleday)
Music – Violin Concerto by Jennifer Higdon (Lawdon Press)
press release on the Special Citation awarded to Hank Williams