Pulitzer Prize for Journalism Opens Competition to Multimedia

By Katie Kindelan Comment

One of the country’s most storied, and traditional, institutions, the Pulitzer Prize Board, has entered the 21st century.   For the first time in the 94 years since the most prestigious, and coveted, prize in journalism was created, the competition will now accept submissions that use any kind of multimedia tool, including videos, multimedia and graphics.

In changes announced this week, the Pulitzer board said that the rules in 12 of 14 categories had been changed to make it clear that news organizations can submit entries that showcase formats other than text if that’s how the pieces were published.

The two categories to remain unchanged are photography categories which are still restricted to still images.

The Board explained the changes as another step in ensuring that the contest continues to evolve as news organizations uses methods beyond print and text to reach readers.

“These changes help ensure that in the multimedia age, the Pulitzer Prizes will continue to recognize the very best journalism in all formats,” said Pulitzer Board Co-Chairs David M. Kennedy and Amanda Bennett.

The last big change to the Pulitzer came in 2008 when it was announced that online-only publications could submit entries to the prize.

The release adds that jurors will be asked to bring their laptops to the judging in March next year “so they can more easily view multimedia and visual elements as they were seen originally by readers,” in an attempt to ensure the work is viewed equally.

The Pulitzer Prize was first established in 1917 through a grant from Hungarian-American publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Today, they are distributed across 21 categories, from newspaper and online journalism, to literature and musical composition.

The prizes, administered each April by Columbia University, come with a cash award and are chosen by an independent board.