The Pulitzer prize is the most coveted recognition for quality journalism in the United States. And they’ve just redefined the meaning of “breaking news” to more accurately represent the real-time nature of the category. But… Twitter has officially been excluded as a medium that could nab a journalist a win.
GigaOm reached out to the members of the Pulitzer board to check and see whether the “breaking news” category applied to Twitter as well as traditional news outlets. The thinking was, plenty of stories break on Twitter by journalists on the ground.
However, representatives from the Pulitzers have come straight out to GigaOm and said that Twitter was not considered a news entity for the purpose of the awards.
The new definition of the “breaking news” category describes it as news that is reported as quickly as possible, as accurately as possible, and is continually updated as more information is made available.
And to me, it sounds like Twitter would be a prime example of a medium that breaks news. However, according to the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes Sig Gissler, it is not eligible for a prize:
“[E]ntered material must appear on an eligible news site — meaning a site operated by a U.S. news organization that publishes at least weekly during the calendar year and that adheres to the highest journalistic principles.”
If the journalist who was breaking news on Twitter was associated with – and published on – a US news organization’s website, then Twitter might be part of a Pulitzer. But for the time being, it’s quite clear that live-tweeting isn’t enough for the award.
What do you think? Will Twitter eventually become an acceptable way to win a journalistic prize? Let us know in the comments below.