Monday, December 8, 2008

Pulitzers: Still No Video Category

The good news is that The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism have now been expanded to include many text-based newspapers and news organizations that publish only on the Internet. Entries made up entirely of online content now qualify for all 14 Pulitzer journalism categories. (Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler explains all to "Editor & Publisher" magazine.)

The bad news is that this includes still photographs, but not video. (Incidentally, the Pulitzers exclude magazines and broadcast/cable outlets -- which means their Websites will also be eliminated from consideration, despite the progressive blurring of the definition of "online news." Presumably ineligibility also extends to online-only magazines as well, such as Salon and Slate, despite the fact that they arguably fulfill the requirement of being "updated at least weekly and include original reporting." )

More clarification: "In addition to text stories, the competition will continue to allow a full range of online content, such as interactive graphics and video, in nearly all categories." But the prizes are for the text stories themselves. There are two photography categories (for Feature and Breaking News), but they will both "continue to restrict entries to still images."

KobreGuide features the 2008 Pulitzer feature photography winner, Preston Gannaway (New Hampshire Concord Monitor), who harrowingly portrayed a family coping with a wife and mother's terminal cancer as they prepared for life without her, and dealt with the impact of her death. Though the Pulitzer was awarded for her meritorious print-version photo series, her online audio-slideshow indubitably carries more emotional power. It's called Remember Me.

Perhaps it will serve as a reminder to the Pulitzer Board that newspaper videojournalism and multimedia is a new category worthy of their attention and accolades.

No comments: